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A US trade complaint may hinder India's plan for a homegrown solar industry

In a surprising ruling that runs counter to the agreements made at the Paris Climate Summit, the World Trade Organization has said that India may not protect local production of solar energy cells. The ruling came in response to a complaint from the United States, which claimed that India’s requirement that 10 percent of its solar panels be produced domestically amounts to restraint of trade.

 

The WTO case raises serious doubts about the Obama Administration’s commitment, under the Paris Climate Agreement, to help developing countries use climate-safe energy to stimulate local jobs and economic development, according to some observers.

It also appears to contradict promises made by the president in January 2015 in New Delhi when he visited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India plans to install 100 gigawatts of solar power in the next six years as part of its commitment to the Paris Climate Summit, where Prime Minister Modi launched what’s called the International Solar Alliance. The alliance would mobilize a trillion dollars by 2030 to harness the sun’s power for the developing world and help build new clean energy economies.

 

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