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COP21: Green Technology at the Forefront of Discussions, Mission Innovation for International Clean Tech, India and France initiate Global Solar Alliance

The formation of “Mission Innovation”, a public private partnership, was announced at COP21 climate conference being held in France on Monday. This partnership aims to curb climate change through great investment in clean and sustainable technology innovation in the upcoming years.

Mission Innovation is a group of 19 countries and 28 of the world’s richest investors, pledging to contribute billions in investment, in order to support innovative developments in clean technology.

Microsoft co-founder and Philanthropist Bill Gates announced the establishment of this ‘breakthrough energy coalition on the first eve of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), where talks are being held on how the world must address this growing impediment.

Mr. Gates believes that clean energy technology is the solution which will save us all, which accounts for his dedication to the cause. The group of private investors will be contributing $7 billion towards clean energy research and development.

Leaders from the world’s biggest carbon emitters, including China, the United States, and India, have pledged to double their government investments in clean energy research over the next few years. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped up to the plate and announced that Canada would commit $300 million a year towards clean tech innovation.

Modi and Hollande launch Global Solar Alliance

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande jointly initiated the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at COP21 on 1 December. ISA would allow for countries to share technology access and best practices amongst each other.

The end goal is to support renewable energy policy-making and provide members with the tools to further curb the growth of climate change. In turn, this will reduce costs and resources for countries that previously could not support these measures.

Over 100 countries have joined into the alliance, including China, France, and the United States.

It was reported that Mr. Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), stated, ‘’Till now, most of the foreign investments have come into India from private sources. Only around US$0.5 billion has come in through official channels, multi-lateral and bi-lateral financing agencies. Enhancement of flows from this channel will further boost the efforts of private enterprise, and the adoption of green power in India.”

India’s Prime Minister is set to spearhead the ISA, as it is one of his aims to position India as a leader of renewable energy tech development. He has already set a target to create 175GW of renewable capacity by 2022.

“We need research and innovation to make renewable energy much cheaper; more reliable; and, easier to connect to transmission grids,” stated Modi at the Innovation Summit in COP21, “This partnership will combine the responsibility of governments with the innovative capacity of the private sector. We will double our investments in research and innovation; and, deepen collaboration among ourselves.”

It is hoped that the ISA will help improve the capacity of developing countries in adopting renewable technology to combat climate change risk and effects. Through proper resource allocation and global knowledge sharing, the ISA has a lot of potential to curb the effect of global warming for those most vulnerable countries.

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