Prime Minister Narendra Modi will look to the sun to firm up India’s position as a rallying point for developing countries, especially those in Africa, when he attends the UN global conference on climate change in Paris on November 30.
He is set to unveil a solar alliance, a group of more than 100 countries promoting and sharing technology, expertise and best practices on harnessing the sun’s energy. It will also raise funds and forge partnerships for solar power.
“The promotion of solar energy is a key focus area for the Prime Minister and most countries in Africa have welcomed this initiative at last week’s India-Africa summit,” said an official.
The grouping is expected to do business worth $100 billion by 2020 in solar energy.
“Our goal is to make solar energy an integral part of our life and reach it to the most unconnected villages and communities,” Modi told the African leaders at the summit.
The government will soon launch a publicity campaign and bring out a documentary on global climate change debates that uphold the Indian perspective.
Officials said India’s stand on climate change has always resonated as the “right one” for developing countries.
The film will identify “historical responsibility and root causes for climate change”, outlining the development of the issue and India’s role in multilateral forums.
Sources said Modi could talk at the Paris summit about India’s traditional practices that promote carbon-efficient lifestyles and how his government’s many policies were aligned to climate change commitments.
It was around this principle that the solar alliance was forged and India told the African countries it would help them in areas of power generation and transmission with concessional credits and grants.
“Africa has both land and the sun. What they need is investment and technology which is hard to come by from the West because of the cost involved,” an official said.