Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Wednesday honoured with the ‘UNEP Champions of the Earth’ award at a ceremony in Delhi.
The honour was bestowed upon PM Modi for his leadership in the International Solar Alliance and pledge to eliminate single-use plastic in India by 2022.
Six of the world’s most outstanding environmental changemakers have been recognised with the Champions of the Earth Award, the UN’s highest environmental honour.
PM Modi received the award from United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The award was announced on September 26, on the sidelines of 73rd UN General Assembly session in New York.
Guterres hailed PM Modi’s vision stating that the Indian prime minister recognises that climate change poses a direct existential threat to the world. He not only recognises but acts too, Guterres further said.
“PM Modi recognises climate change poses a direct existential threat to us. He knows what we need to do to avoid a catastrophe. Other leaders also recognise, know and understand, but the difference is that he not only recognises but he acts,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said.
In his address, PM Modi said the award was an honour for India and crores of Indians.
“Indians are committed to save the environment,” the PM said.
“Climate and calamity are directly related to culture; if climate is not the focus of culture, calamity cannot be prevented. When I say ‘Sabka Saath,’ I also include nature in it,” PM Modi said after receiving the award.
French President Emmanuel Macron, President of France and Modi have been jointly recognised in the Policy Leadership category for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and promoting new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action, including Macron’s work on the Global Pact for the Environment and Modi’s unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022.
Cochin International Airport has also been honoured this year with the award for Entrepreneurial Vision, for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy.
(With PTI inputs)