At the Paris climate summit this week it was announced that India will be leading a global solar revolution, with the Indian government investing $30 million in the headquarters of a new international alliance for solar power, called the International Agency for Solar Technologies and Applications (Iasta). The new alliance aims to use pooled expert knowledge in the area to spread cheap solar power technology.
This is very promising and ambitious from India, which aims to draw 40% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030. Global initiatives like Iasta are the best ways to save the planet — global warming transcends national boundaries, and so should efforts to prevent them. Equally, the fact that India (which is one of the fastest developing countries and will be the most populous by 2030) is willing to show leadership in this area is indication that some countries accept that economic growth is not incompatible with saving the planet. And just imagine what Iasta could mean — throughout the deserts of Africa, tropics of Asia and the sands of the Mediterranean, the possibility of miles upon miles of solar panels generating electricity for its people. A bright prospect indeed.
The only disappointment so far about the Paris talks is the lack of leadership from the developed countries. India is a developing country with a massive population — it’s naturally going to need a lot of energy. Those countries which have already developed and can therefore invest in renewable energy — for example the USA, the EU, Australia and Canada — should lead by example and cut their pollution.
But all in all, the solar alliance indicates that there are promising signs ahead for the Paris climate summit. A new global order based around saving the planet sounds like a great idea to me.
Jon commentates on the ways culture and politics interact.