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India, other countries signed International Solar Alliance framework agreement

MARRAKECH: In what is yet another indication that the countries were moving ahead on a low carbon path, the International Solar Alliance transitioned from being an idea to becoming a legal entity. On Tuesday, on the sidelines of the UN-sponsored climate talks, more than 20 countries including India, France, Brazil signed the framework agreement putting the International Solar Alliance on track to becoming an intergovernmental body registered under the UN charter.

Countries have three months to formally join the agreement. The agreement will enter into force after fifteen countries ratify or officially join it. Sources indicated that given that the framework agreement was the outcome of intense discussions and deliberations over the course of the year, the entry of the force of the agreement and wide participation was not in doubt. “Many countries have said that they would sign on to the agreement but would first go through the domestic processes required to join an intergovernmental body,” said a senior official.

With the framework agreement in place, the clock now starts for the alliance to deliver on its promise to serve as a facilitator to ensure that large swathes of the un-served and underserved population have access to adequate, predictable, and cheap energy. “That task starts once ISA comes to legal existence with ratification by the prescribed number of countries,” said Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General, ISA and former Secretary, New and Renewable Energy.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a joint partnership effort by India and France to bring together countries with high solar resource. The partnership that seeks to bring together some 120-odd countries, with as much as 300 days of sunshine located within the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn was announced at the Paris climate summit in December last year. It has been a long journey for the ISA in a relatively short time.

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