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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday launch an international solar alliance aimed at eventually bringing clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all.
The launch will coincide with a summit of world leaders at the start of two weeks of talks on the outskirts of Paris to seek a new global deal on curbing climate change, by shifting from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.
An Indian government statement on Sunday said there were well over 100 solar-rich countries in the tropics that could be members of the International Solar Alliance to develop clean and affordable solar energy.
"Solar energy is a practical and efficient way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions," it said.
Aware of the shadow cast by the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen summit, the last attempt to reach a global climate deal, the United Nations is placing as much weight on the efforts of individual governments as on an overarching U.N. agreement.
More than 180 nations have submitted national action plans, but they are not enough to achieve a goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times -- the cap scientists say is essential to prevent the most devastating consequences of global warming.
India's national plan focuses on solar, saying it is expected to grow significantly. The aim is to reach capacity of 100 gigawatts by 2022, to be scaled up further in the future.
Firms such as Tata Power have invested heavily in solar as a reliable source capable of delivering power to some of India's poorest people.
Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Andrew Bolton