India Spearheads a New Solar Energy Alliance at COP21 Climate Summit
David Lawrence is a former executive with Shell who has global experience in the energy sector. Passionate about energy access, energy poverty and environmental sustainability, David Lawrence holds advisory board chair responsibilities with the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. He stays informed about trends in energy, security, and environmental policy, with an interest most recently in the Paris COP21 climate summit.
The COP21 forum (COP stands for Conference of Parties) brought together the leaders of 150 nations, along with 40,000 delegates from 195 countries, in an ongoing effort to mitigate climate change on a global political level. Despite obstacles in the way of creating a paradigm for global sustainability, one major step forward has been the increased involvement of countries such as China and India, who bear the brunt of criticism over massive pollution brought about by rapid economic development. In late November 2015, India announced an alliance of more than 120 countries committed to advancing solar power capacities.
India will invest $30 million in setting up an alliance headquarters, with the aim of raising an additional $400 million through donations by international organizations and membership fees. The ultimate intention of the alliance is to fully meet 2030 sustainable development and energy access goals. A key question involves the nuts and bolts of how such an alliance will significantly expand the use of solar energy in member countries, many of which are located in less economically developed regions. The world’s most populous nation, India, has pledged to generate 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources within 15 years.