The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Friday, Aug. 20, that he commits to provide solar power to 2,800 homes in Pacific island nations, 200 houses in each of the Pacific island country.
Leaders and delegates of 14 Pacific nations gathered for a summit in the western state of Rajasthan, having India as host. The meeting was an attempt to find solutions to pressing issues the island nations face due to climate change. A United Nations conference was held in Samoa with the same purpose in September last year, discussing measures to help the small island nations to survive the pressing challenge posed by climate change.
India is hosting the current summit seeking to improve its image on the international politic arena as well as in the neighboring Pacific region at a time of growing Chinese political and economic influence in the region.
The Indian PM made his pledge to provide solar power to Pacific island countries after explaining that India has its own plans to maximize its renewable energy output to 175,000 megawatts by the year 2022. According to Modi, this will save around $1 million worth of kerosene.
Some of the low-lying Pacific island nations are little more than one meter (three feet) above sea level. Scientists are regarding them as the most vulnerable to rising sea levels as consequence of climate change. During the conference, Pacific islands urged global cooperation necessary in order to slow down the effects of global warming that are eroding their coastlines and raising sea levels as well as increasing the severity of extreme climate phenomena, such as super typhoons.
Modi extended his help to build up space technologies and human resources for natural disaster management such as early warning and response systems. He also pledges support to the Pacific island nations in the future climate change talks scheduled to be held later this year in Paris. Many are hoping that the world leaders will forge a historic deal to cap global warming at the Paris summit.