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France, India To Launch Global Solar Alliance

Aware of the shadow cast by the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen summit, the United Nations is placing as much weight on the efforts of individual governments as on an overarching UN agreement on curbing climate change

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French President Francois Hollande and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday launch an international solar alliance aimed at eventually bringing clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all.


Other participating countries in the 20-nation initiative include Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Denmark, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, UAE, US and the UK.

The launch will coincide with a summit of world leaders at the start of two weeks of talks on the outskirts of Paris to seek a new global deal on curbing climate change, by shifting from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.

The total amount of money being committed by these 20 countries under Mission Innovation - amount to $20 billion, about half of which would come from the US, White House officials said.

"This is an effort designed to accelerate clean energy innovation and address global climate change, provide affordable clean energy to consumers with a special focus on the developing world in creating commercial opportunities for creating clean energy in developing countries," top Obama adviser Brian Deese told reporters.

An Indian government statement on Sunday said there were well over 100 solar-rich countries in the tropics that could be members of the International Solar Alliance to develop clean and affordable solar energy.

"Solar energy is a practical and efficient way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions," it said.

Aware of the shadow cast by the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen summit, the last attempt to reach a global climate deal, the United Nations is placing as much weight on the efforts of individual governments as on an overarching U.N. agreement.

More than 180 nations have submitted national action plans, but they are not enough to achieve a goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times -- the cap scientists say is essential to prevent the most devastating consequences of global warming.

India's national plan focuses on solar, saying it is expected to grow significantly. The aim is to reach capacity of 100 gigawatts by 2022, to be scaled up further in the future.

Firms such as Tata Power have invested heavily in solar as a reliable source capable of delivering power to some of India's poorest people.

(Agencies)


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