The Commonwealth and the International Solar Alliance (ISA) have agreed to work in partnership to promote the development and scaling-up of solar power within member countries common to both organisations.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on 3 June in the margins of the inaugural Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Sustainable Energy will focus actions on key areas of common interest.
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Arjoon Suddhoo said: “The Commonwealth is excited to team up with ISA and explore solar opportunities for our countries. No country or group can achieve the global clean energy transition alone, hence it is vital to build partnerships across countries, sectors, and stakeholders.”
ISA Director-General Upendra Tripathy added: “This MOU synergises the strengths of both our organisations, as institutions and in terms of ideas and actors. Together, ISA and Commonwealth will be able to look at country-wide strategies to promote the Paris Agreement on climate change, and Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13 on clean, affordable energy and climate action.”
Under the MOU, parties will explore the potential for a joint ISA-Commonwealth Solar Fund to finance and develop solar off-grid projects in common member countries.
They agreed to exchange know-how and knowledge and jointly promote the deployment of solar energy.
Government policies that target reliable and affordable solar energy solutions to meet the electricity needs of local communities will also be supported. These would ensure equal opportunity and access to energy, particularly for women, youth and indigenous people.
To date, 28 Commonwealth countries are signatories to the ISA framework while 21 have ratified. The India-based intergovernmental organisation was established in 2015 to respond to common challenges found in scaling up solar energy, and to take coordinated action to aggregate demand for finance, technologies, innovation, research and development, and capacity building.