The United States on Wednesday became the 101st member country of the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA), as US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry signed the ISA framework agreement to catalyse global energy transition through a solar-led approach.
Kerry described the US membership as a major step towards the rapid deployment of solar power, as he formally signed the framework agreement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
"It has long been coming, and we are happy to join the International Solar Alliance, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the lead in making," said Kerry.
"We worked out the details and this is a process we are pleased to be a part of.
"This will be an important contribution to more rapid deployment of solar globally.
"It will be particularly important for developing countries,” he said.
Union Minister for Environment Bhupender Yadav welcomed the US as the 101st member of the ISA, saying this move will strengthen the solar alliance and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world.
"Happy that now USA is formally a part of International Solar Alliance, a visionary initiative launched by PM Shri @narendramodi Ji in 2015 at Paris COP.
"The number of countries who are now part of @isolaralliance is now 101,” the minister later tweeted.
The ISA framework, first circulated for countries to support in 2016, emphasises delivering global relevance and local benefit to all countries through collaborations.
The ISA's key interventions focus on readiness and enabling activities, risk mitigation and innovative financing instruments to facilitate the promotion and deployment of solar technologies in target markets.
"The US' endorsement of ISA's framework and approach is an heartening development, especially as our 101st member nation, which is a significant milestone in itself, demonstrating that nations across the world are recognising the economic and climate mitigating value of solar, as well as this energy source's potential as a catalyst for global energy transition,” said Ajay Mathur, director general of the ISA.
"We are now even more committed to translating this confidence into tangible projects and developments on the ground, accelerating the momentum of solar adoption that has been built so far.
"We hope remaining nations and economies will follow suit, and align with us to achieve swift, affordable and effective climate action, while also achieving their respective economic growth and long-term development priorities,” he said.
The alliance highlights how the approach and methods detailed in the ISA framework have already delivered results, with ISA building a solar project pipeline of nearly 5 GW installed capacity.
The approach detailed in the framework is designed to culminate in a vision for interconnected global grids, which was formalised and jointly launched as the ‘Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid' (GGI-OSOWOG), during the World Leaders Summit of the COP26 in Glasgow last week by the UK Presidency of COP26 and India Presidency of ISA.
Earlier at COP26, the United States also joined the Steering Committee of the GGI-OSOWOG comprising five members – US, Australia, France, UK, and India — and endorsed the One Sun Declaration along with 80 countries.
The launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Francois Hollande, former President of France, in November 2015 – at the 21st session of United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France.
Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters