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ISA shows nations care about climate change, take concrete steps: French Minister Brune Poirson


Press Trust of India New Delhi
In a veiled attack on the US, French Minister of State for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Brune Poirson on Thursday said the International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a political project which shows that there are countries who care for climate issues and do concrete things on the ground.
Speaking at a press conference of the second Assembly of ISA here in the national capital, she also expressed regret over the decision of the US to walk out of the Paris agreement on climate change.
"More than ever, friends in India (at ISA) need to work together to combat climate change. The US is about to leave the Paris agreement (on climate change). We can only regret it. We think it is a bad decision," she said here in the opening remark when asked to elaborate on the statement that ISA is a political project.
She further said, "However it gives us hope... It gives really hope that we have partners, strong partners such as India which has actually decided (to set up ISA)... They are going to accelerate action. In this context it means that ISA is really a political project."

The ISA is an Indian initiative launched by the Indian prime minister and the French president in November 2015 in Paris on the sidelines of the COP-21, with 121 solar resource-rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropic of cancer and tropic of capricorn as prospective members.
This is not the first time that France has taken a jibe on the US at an international forum. Earlier last year in March, taking a swipe at US President Donald Trump for backing out of the Paris climate agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron lauded the efforts of India, along with other nations, for making ISA a reality.
However, Macron had not named Trump at the founding conference of ISA in the capital on March 11, 2018. While hailing the 'Solar Mamas', a group of women solar engineers, he also referred to the countries that have decided to leave the climate agreement.
He had said, "Solar Mamas did not wait for us. They started to act and deliver complete results. They did not wait and stop because some countries (the US and others) just decided to leave the floor and leave the Paris Agreement. Because they (ISA nations) decided it is good for them, their children, and grand children. They decided to act and keep acting."

Speaking about ISA at the conference, Poirson said, "The ISA is more than an international organisation. It is a political forte. It is an organisation that is meant to bring hope on ground by bridging the gap between the poor and the rich and those who can afford renewable energy and those who cannot... If we fail to do that, we are fail to achieve something concrete then there will a disappointment for everyone."

She also said, "It is about showing (nations like the US) that some countries around the world not only care about climate change but also do things concretely on the ground to tackle the issue of climate change. It is particularly important to have that sort of partnership with French and India and more globally."

Poirson added, "Under the leadership of India and France, we want to gather as many countries as possible to really come up with projects."

Elaborating about ISA works, she said it is for lowering cost of investment in solar energy which would make it possible to attract private investment on massive scale to finance low-scale solar energy.
She further said, "We need a framework for that (for lower investment cost), to be used in a different way. This is the whole point in solar risk mitigation mission, which was launched with the French Development Agency and the World Bank. As committed now, 50 million euros (worth investments) would come. This will allow international investors to come in on a massive scale for solar energy projects."

She also stressed the need for knowledge sharing in renewables.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 6:10 PM IST

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