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Union Cabinet approves Collaboration Agreement to support Belmont Forum Secretariat

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of the Collaborative Agreement with French National Research Agency (ANR), France.

The MoU will be signed for supporting the Belmont Forum Secretariat from January, 2015 to December, 2017 at a total estimated expenditure of 40,000 Euros. The Cabinet also approved continued financial support to Belmont Forum Secretariat beyond 2017.

About Belmont Forum

  • Belmont Forum is a high level group of the world’s major and emerging funders of global environmental change research and international science councils. It was established in 2009.
  • It aims to accelerate delivery of the environmental research needed to remove critical barriers to sustainability by aligning and mobilizing international resources.
  • It provides an opportunity to identify study and deliver international environmental research priorities through trans­national research collaboration between natural and social scientists.
  • Members: India, Australia, Brazil, Canada, European Commission, France, Germany, Japan, Netherland, South Africa, UK and US etc. India is represented by the Union Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) since 2012.
  • Belmon Secretariat: It is hosted by one of the Belmont forum member on rotational basis. ANR, France is hosting the Secretariat from January, 2015 to December, 2017.
  • Expenditure for hosting the Secretariat is borne by Belmont Forum member countries in kind or cash contribution.
Comment

The signing of the MoU will help to maintain a certain degree of continuity in the operations of the Belmont Forum and also help in smooth coordination of the activities of it.  Indian scientific community will ultimately benefit from this agreement as India already is participating in four Collaborative Research Actions (CRAs) of the Forum.

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India becomes associate member of IEA

India, world’s 3rd largest energy consumer has joined International Energy Association (IAE) as associate member. India will also now have a greater say in global energy issues.

With India as a associate member, IEA now formally covers 70% of the world’s energy consumption, thus increasing its relevance.

Key Facts
  • India’s participation will enrich the energy efficiency and renewable sectors of IEA members and other countries.
  • India will gain from IEA’s data gathering processes, survey methodologies and range of energy data, which will enable India in the near future to set up its own robust integrated database agency.
  • It also gives an opportunity to India to be the voice of the developing world and represent the interests of the emerging markets. It will enable India to be involved in the key committees and dialogues of the IEA. 

About International Energy Association (IEA) 

  • IEA is an inter-governmental organization established in 1974 as per framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • It was established in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis after the OPEC cartel had shocked the world with a steep increase in oil prices.
  • Members: Presently it has 29 member countries. India is lone associate member of IAE.
  • Headquarters (Secretariat): Paris, France.
  • Mandate: Its prime focus is on the “3Es” of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development and environmental protection.
  • It also seeks to promote alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies and multinational energy technology co-operation.
  • It acts as energy policy advisor to 29 member countries and also non-member countries like China, India and Russia.
  • Publications: World Energy Outlook report.
  • Relevance: Today, IEA is an important part of global dialogue on energy, providing research, statistics/data, analysis and recommendations on the global energy sector.
  • Over 70% of world’s energy consumption is now under the IEA umbrella which increases its relevance in global energy governance manifold.

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Union Cabinet approves ratification of International Solar Alliance

The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal of Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) for ratification of International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement by India.

The Agreement was opened for signature on the sidelines of 22nd Conference of Parties (CoP) meeting United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Marrakesh, Morocco.

The Agreement invokes the Paris Declaration on ISA and encapsulates the vision of the member nations. Till now, 25 nations have signed the Framework Agreement. World Bank and UNDP also have announced their partnership with the ISA.

About International Solar Alliance (ISA)

  • ISA was launched jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of France François Hollande in November, 2015 at Paris on the side-lines of the 21st CoP meeting of UNFCCC.
  • It is brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is also India’s first international and inter-governmental organization comprising 121 Countries.
  • ISA strives to bring together more than 121 solar resource rich tropical nations lying fully or partially between two tropics for coordinated research, low cost financing and rapid deployment.
  • Its headquarters are located in Gwal Pahari, Guragaon in Haryana. The institutional structure consists of an Assembly, a Council and a Secretariat (to be located in India).
  • Its members will take coordinated actions through programmes and activities that will aggregate demands for solar finance, solar technologies, innovation, R&D and capacity building.
  • India has already committed the required support of operationalization of ISA. It will put India globally in a leadership role in climate and renewable energy issues.

For more details: International Solar Alliance (ISA)

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