The sun has been lighting up and animating civilization much before life opened up its eyes on the Earth. From Japan to Peru, Greece or Rome, Egypt, Inca and East Maya Traditions - Every civilization has given the sun its respect and importance.
—Prime Minister Narendra Modi
These words of PM Modi delivered at the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held exactly four years ago in March 2018 in the Indian capital city still reverberate and echo among the comity of nations present during that august occasion. Mr Modi went on to tell his global audience that for thousands of years Indian philosophy has accorded a central place to the Sun. The holy Vedas have considered the Sun—the feeder of all life—as the soul of our world since time immemorial.
Indeed, considering its brief history, the ISA has already become a storied institution. Conceptualized on the sidelines of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris in 2015, today the Alliance has 102 member nations that have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. Of these, 80 nations have submitted the necessary instruments of ratification and become full members of the ISA. All member states of the United Nations are now eligible to join the ISA that has a clearly defined “Towards 1000” strategy that aims to mobilize a trillion dollars in investments in solar energy solutions by 2030. It also has a vision of delivering access to clean energy solutions to a billion people, something that can accelerate the installation of 1,000 GW of solar energy capacities across geographies. This will help mitigate global solar emissions to the tune of 1,000 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
On our cover this issue we take a comprehensive look at the ISA through the lens of its Director General, H.E. Dr Ajay Mathur who has a stellar background in the clean energy space. He has been a leading climate change negotiator and Indian spokesperson at the Paris climate negotiations. During its foundational period he was interim Director of the Green Climate Fund. He held the position of Director General at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) prior to taking up his assignment at the ISA. In recognition of his outstanding commitment to the preservation of the environment and coping with energy-related challenges, Dr Mathur was appointed a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite by the President of France.