PM Modi, Macron bag top UN award for solar alliance

PM Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron have been declared joint winners of this year’s ‘Champions of the Earth’ award — UN’s highest environmental honour. UN secretary general Antonio Guterres will present the award to Modi on October 3.

UN Environment Programme announced Modi and Macron as winners for “their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance” and promoting new areas of cooperation on environmental action.India’s Cochin international airport — the world’s first fully solar-powered airport — was also selected for the award for leadership in use of sustainable energy.

“I accept, with all humility the ‘Champions of the Earth Award’ and thank the UN for conferring this honour. This award is not for an individual but for the Indian tradition and value systems of living in harmony with nature and protecting the environment,” tweeted Modi. Referring to selection of Cochin airport, he said, “The airport is an inspiration for several other airports in how we can leverage the power of solar energy for a better tomorrow.” Congratulating Macron, he tweeted, “The honour is a fitting recognition for his work towards creating a cleaner and greener tomorrow. His role in strengthening the International Solar Alliance is also commendable.”

The UN chief will be in India to attend the first assembly of the ISA which will be inaugurated here by Modi on October 2. UNEP also noted PM’s “unprecedented pledge” to eliminate all single-use plastic (items such as carry bags, straws and water bottles) in India by 2022.

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