The US joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on Wednesday, becoming the 101st country to join the sunshine club.
"It has long been coming, and we are happy to join the International Solar Alliance, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the lead in making. We worked out the details and this is a process we are pleased to be a part of. This will be an important contribution to more rapid deployment of solar globally. It will be particularly important for developing countries," said US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
At the signing, India's environment minister Bhupender Yadav said, "This move will strengthen ISA and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world."
The US joining the ISA has been in the works for several years. Initially resistant, the US was not among the initial signatories. By 2016, the US decided to join the alliance.
However, it was put on hold during the Trump administration. Given the criticality of solar energy in the transition to a net-zero economy underpinned by a transition away from fossil fuels and the geopolitical situation, the US participation in the ISA was a logical step.
"The US' endorsement of ISA's framework and approach is an heartening development, especially as our 101st member nation, which is a significant milestone in itself, demonstrating that nations across the world are recognizing the economic and climate mitigating value of solar, as well as this energy source's potential as a catalyst for global energy transition," said Ajay Mathur, Director-General of International Solar Alliance.
"Solar energy is at the heart of the urgent climate action," said Kerry in his address to the ISA Assembly.