Gurgaon: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande on Monday laid the foundation stone for an interim secretariat of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative by the two countries to harness solar energy in over 100 nations.
Speaking at the event here, Hollande said France wants to build the Post-Paris Agreement world with India, as he called the ISA as "India's gift" to the world in combating climate change. He also pledged 300 million Euros to develop solar energy in next five years.
Unveiling the plaque, Modi said although the ISA will be headquartered in India, it will function as a global and independent institution meant to benefit entire mankind.
"While ISA is headquartered in Gurgaon, this will be not be an institution of India alone. This will be an global institution and will function independently.
"Like United Nations and WHO, it also belongs to the whole world," Modi said, adding that people from different countries will discharge various responsibilities for this initiative to give some sort of a "heritage" to the world.
Modi who travelled with Hollande from Delhi to Gurgaon, a satellite city of the national capital, in a Metro train said that the move is also aimed at sending a message that such environment friendly steps could also be ways to fight global warming.
Modi emphasised that India and France share much in common about their goal to resolve the issue of global warming.
Stressing that developing countries had their developmental needs, Modi said this cannot be done without the use of energy and hence the dilemma before the world is how to protect the environment while meeting the developmental needs of such nations.
"Energy has become an integral part of a nation's development journey. For the past one year, the world has been deliberating on how to combat global warming. This alliance ensures the world gets more energy and there is also a focus on innovation," he said.
French President Hollande said that a "new chapter" opens for nations to utilise the power of the sun.
ISA, an initiative of Modi, is an alliance of 121 solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
India offered to host ISA at the premises of NISE and has offered a 5-acre land. Three floors of the Surya Bhawan of NISE have been offered for starting the interim Secretariat.