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NEW DELHI : US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC) John Kerry will address the fourth general assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 20 October.

India has urged the US to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), co-founded by India and France. ISA has become a significant public policy tool for India and is considered a counter to China’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. India’s strategy is to negate the growing influence of strategic rival China in the region.

India's ambitious global grid One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG), $1 trillion solar investment roadmap for 2030, and a blended financial risk mitigation facility are also expected to be discussed during the assembly being held virtually between 18 October-21 October.

ISA is the nodal agency for implementing India’s global electricity grid plan—OSOWOG—that seeks to transfer solar power generated in one region to feed the electricity demands of others.

“U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will deliver the keynote address on October 20th, while the European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, will also address the gathering on October 20th," ISA said in a statement on Saturday.

“The fourth general assembly of The International Solar Alliance (ISA), will be held virtually between October 18th and October 21st, 2021, and will be presided over by Hon’ble Minister Shri R.K. Singh, Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India and the President of the ISA Assembly," the statement added.

A consortium led by French state-run power utility firm EDF and comprising France’s AETS, and India’s The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) has been tasked with creating the road map for the global grid OSOWOG.

“A detailed report on OSOWOG is expected to be discussed at the Assembly. The concept of a single global grid for solar was first outlined at the First Assembly of the ISA in late 2018. It envisions buildingand scaling inter-regional energy grids to share solar energy across the globe, leveraging the differences of time zones, seasons, resources, and prices between countries and regions. OSOWOG will also help decarbonise energy production, which is today the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions," the statement said.

ISA, co-founded by India during the 2015 climate change conference in Paris, has assumed centre-stage for India’s attempts at a global climate leadership role. In what may strengthen India’s climate commitment credentials in the run up to COP-26 in Glasgow, its emissions have been reduced by 28% over 2005 levels, against the target of 35% by 2030.

“We are working towards mobilising USD 1 trillion of investment for a massive deployment of solar energy technologies and for expanding solar markets," Ajay Mathur, Director General, ISA said in the statement.

This comes at a time when there hasn’t been much traction on the Green Climate Fund set up to provide developing nations $100 billion annually by 2020 to counter climate change. Green finance is among the priority themes at COP-26, with the conference being held in the backdrop of US re-entering the Paris climate accord.

“On October 18th, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of United Kingdom, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng and the World Bank, Vice- President for Infrastructure, Mr Riccardo Puliti, are likely to deliver an address on the One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative, which was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi in 2018," the ISA statement said.

According to the union government, India is the only major economy with actions in line to keep global warming below 2°C of pre-industrial levels and the only G20 country whose energy transition is consonant with this goal. India has also been resisting the pressure of declaring a net zero emission goal. Instead, India has called out nations on their carbon neutral intent announcements and termed its as ‘meaningless’.

“World leaders of ISA member countries will also discuss the strategic plan of the ISA for the next five years encompassing a Country Partnership Framework, Strategy for Private Sector Engagement, and initiatives such as Viability Gap Financing scheme to facilitate affordable finance for solar energy projects across ISA’s membership. The ISA will also discuss the partnership with Global Energy Alliance (GEA) to scale up technical and financial support to LDCs and SIDS," the statement said.

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