Economy

World's smallest nation ratifies Solar Alliance Pact

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with Minister for Utilities of Nauru Aaron Cook pose during signing and ratification ceremony of the International Solar Alliance in Gandhinagar on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

The world’s smallest republic, the tiny island nation of Nauru — has become the sixth country to ratify the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework pact initiated by the Indian and French governments at the climate change summit held at Paris in 2015.

Five more African nations — Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia, Ghana and Djibouti — have committed to sign the Solar Alliance pact during the ongoing meeting of the African Development bank in India.

PM to inaugurate AFDB annual meeting on Tuesday
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the African Development Bank’s annual meeting that is taking place in Gandhinagar this year, on Tuesday. India has been a member of the Bank since 1983 with an objective to boost business and investment ties with Africa, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
  • “In the last three decades, Asia grew faster than the world and in the coming decades, Africa also needs to grow fast with Asia. It has a lot of resources, but development is lagging,” he said, while speaking to reporters.

Nauru, which has a population of just 10,200-odd and the highest point on its terrain is only 65 metres above sea leve, is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, said the country’s commerce, industry and environment minister Aaron Cook before handing over the ratification document to Union Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday afternoon.

“Nauru has a hot and humid climate due to its proximity to the Equator… We are fortunate that we don’t normally experience cyclones,” Mr Cook said, adding that 30 per cent of the country’s needs are currently met through solar power installations and it has set a target to attain 50 per cent of energy production from renewable sources by 2020.

The motivating factor behind the International Solar Alliance, Mr Jaitley said, is the need for continents like Asia and Africa to protect the environment while generating energy for development goals.

“With today’s signing up by five African countries, we will reach around 31 countries, of which six have already ratified the pact. This is an important alliance for the future and what we are doing today is not just an agreement, but a new chapter in the future economic history of the world,” Mr. Jaitley said.

Headquartered in India, the alliance conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to collaborate on meeting their energy needs through a common, agreed approach, will become a legal entity once at least 15 countries ratify and deposit the framework agreement.

India has earmarked about $2 billion to finance solar projects in Africa out of it commitment to provide $10 billion of concessional lines of credit for projects in the continent.

A foreign ministry statement said that Mauritius is expected to sign and ratify the ISA Framework pact together on May 27, during the upcoming visit of its Prime Minister to India. Fiji, which had signed up earlier, has also completed the ratification process and will deposit its instrument in the next few weeks.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 5:32:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/worlds-smallest-nation-ratifies-solar-alliance-pact/article18524199.ece

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