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- India is considering expanding its solar STAR-C to a number of Pacific Island countries.
- The STAR-C is an initiative, run by the International Solar Alliance.
- It is run in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
- It aims to create a strong network of institutional capacities within ISA member states to enhance quality infrastructure for the uptake of solar energy products and services. The project is also funded by France.
- The program’s objectives include –
- building solar workforces,
- standardizing products,
- setting up infrastructure, and
- raising awareness among policymakers in developing countries.
- Initially, the focus was on the Economic Community of West African States, the Pacific Island Forum, and the East African Community.
- India’s expansion of the STAR-C initiative in Pacific Island countries demonstrates its commitment to promoting solar power ecosystems and addressing climate change in the region.
International Solar Alliance (ISA)
- The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a collaborative platform for the increased deployment of solar energy technologies as a means for bringing energy access, ensuring energy security, and driving energy transition in its member countries.
- The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilize efforts against climate change through the deployment of solar energy solutions.
- It was conceptualized on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015.
- It is an international organization with 93 Member countries and 115 signatory countries.
- With the amendment of its Framework Agreement in 2020, all member states of the United Nations are now eligible to join the ISA.
- It is the first international intergovernmental organization to be headquartered in India.
- The ISA strives to develop and deploy cost-effective and transformational energy solutions powered by the sun to help member countries develop low-carbon growth trajectories.
- There is a particular focus on delivering impact in countries categorized as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
- Being a global platform, ISA’s partnerships with multilateral development banks (MDBs), development financial institutions (DFIs), private and public sector organizations, civil society, and other international institutions is key to delivering the change it seeks to see in the world going ahead.
ISA’s ‘Towards 1000’ strategy
- The ISA is guided by its ‘Towards 1000’ strategy which aims to mobilise USD 1,000 billion of investments in solar energy solutions by 2030 while delivering energy access to 1,000 million people using clean energy solutions and resulting in installation of 1,000 GW of solar energy capacity.
- This would help mitigate global solar emissions to the tune of 1,000 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
Significance of ISA
- ISA member countries are driving change by enacting policies and regulations, sharing best practices, agreeing on common standards, and mobilizing investments.
- Through this work, ISA has:
- Identified and designed and tested new business models for solar projects;
- Supported governments to make their energy legislation and policies solar-friendly through ease of doing solar analytics and advisory;
- Pooled demand for solar technology from different countries; and drove down costs;
- Improved access to finance by reducing the risks and making the sector more attractive to private investment;
- Increased access to solar training, data, and insights for solar engineers and energy policymakers.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that assists countries in economic and industrial development. It is headquartered at the UN Office in Vienna, Austria, with a permanent presence in over 60 countries. UNIDO comprises 170 member states, which together set the organization's policies, programs, and principles through the biannual General Conference.
UNIDO was established in 1966 by the UN General Assembly to promote and accelerate the industrialization of developing countries, which were emerging from decolonization in record numbers and with little to no industrial base. In 1979 it became one of the 15 specialized agencies of the UN, with its new constitution coming into force in 1985. Since its founding, the organization has restructured and reformed several times; the 2013 Lima Declaration expanded its mission to include promoting "inclusive and sustainable industrial development" (ISID), defined as benefiting greater numbers of people while safeguarding the environment. UNIDO is a member of the United Nations Development Group, a coalition of UN entities aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.
On 25 July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/70/293, proclaiming the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). UNIDO was called upon to lead the initiative in collaboration with a range of partners. These include the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the Economic Commission for Africa, etc.
From 2018 to 2021, UNIDO's strategic priorities include creating shared prosperity; advancing economic competitiveness; safeguarding the environment; and strengthening knowledge and institutions. Each of these goals is to be achieved through technical cooperation, policy advice, analysis and research, the development of uniform standards and quality control, and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking, and industrial cooperation.
Q. Consider the following statements with reference to International Solar Alliance (ISA).
1. ISA was conceptualized on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015.
2. All member states of the United Nations are eligible to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
3. The ISA is guided by its ‘Towards 1000’ strategy which aims to mobilise USD 1,000 billion of investments in solar energy solutions by 2030.
4. The STAR-C is an initiative, run by the International Solar Alliance in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and it aims to create a strong network of institutional capacities within ISA member states to enhance quality infrastructure for the uptake of solar energy products and services.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) None of the above.
Correct Answer: (d) None of the above.