UK joins International Solar Alliance to mark Narendra Modi visit

The United Kingdom on Monday joined the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-day visit to Britain. At an event held at the London Stock Exchange as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 (CHOGM), Britain formally announced its membership of the alliance, which aims to raise $1 trillion of private and public finance to provide affordable and sustainable energy for all by 2030.

The UK’s partnership will involve providing expertise and advice to the alliance, but no monetary contributions. The Department for International Development (DfID) said its partnership of ISA, which it described as Modi’s flagship climate treaty, is aimed at giving over 1 billion of the world’s poorest people access to cheap, clean, and renewable energy.

The UK becomes the 62nd country to join ISA, which includes countries like France, Australia, Bangladesh, Tuvalu, Benin, UAE, Brazil, Vanuatu, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Britain’s traditional financial aid programme to India ended in 2015, with the country now focussed on providing India with “world-leading expertise” and private investment to boost prosperity, create jobs and open up markets.

These energy sources are considered a lifeline for rural communities, helping to power business and homes, making sure the poorest people no matter where they live can access clean, reliable and affordable energy quickly to lift themselves out of poverty. The new collaboration means ISA will be able to make solar power cheaper by helping countries join forces to procure solar energy systems.

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