UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has praised India’s push for solar energy calling it “an historic opportunity”.

Speaking at the inauguration of a 10MW canal top project in Gujarat on Sunday, Ban praised the multiple benefits of solar.

“Solar power protects the environment. It creates development. It helps us conserve land. And it promotes health and prosperity. More solar power means less pollution. And that will lead to cleaner air and healthier lives,” he said.

“We have an historic opportunity to transform our societies. This project shows us how."

He also praised Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious plans to install 100GW of solar across the country by 2022.

“I commend Prime Minister Modi for his commitment to dramatically scale up renewable energy. I applaud his pledge to light every household in India with a solar lightbulb. This is the kind of bold leadership the world needs to reap the benefits of the clean energy revolution.

“I count on all partners to continue to support our common goals. Engage actively. Make commitments. Invest your resources and take action. Together, we can create a safer, more prosperous world for all.”

Ban also welcomed India’s role in his Sustainable Energy for All initiative that seeks to provide universal access to electricity by 2030 as well a doubling of energy efficiency and double the proportion of renewable in the global energy mix by the same deadline.

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