Home Is Where The Earth Champion Is: PM Modi Bestowed With Highest UN Award For Green WorkPM Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been bestowed with the UN’s highest environmental honour, along with five other individuals and organisations, in recognition of his stewardship of the International Solar Alliance and mission to eliminate single use plastic in India by 2022.

PM Modi and President of France, Emmanuel Macron, have been jointly recognised in the “Policy Leadership” category for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance. The duo was also credited with promoting new areas 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.

Modi was an early proponent of solar power. As Gujarat Chief Minister, he had unveiled a solar power policy in 2009, which aimed to install 500 megawatts (MW) of solar power by 2014 in his state. When he inaugurated the Gujarat Solar Park in Charanka in 2012, the state had already achieved an installed capacity of 605 MW, well ahead of the target date.

On 30 November 2015, Modi and then French president Francois Hollande unveiled the plan for the ISA during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris. All countries which are located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn were invited to join this alliance.

It was also a double delight for India as Cochin International Airport was also conferred the award for Entrepreneurial Vision for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy. It is the world's first fully solar-powered airport and UN cited it as a proof that green business is good business.

China's Green Rural Revival Programme was awarded for Inspiration and Action for the transformation of a once-heavily polluted area of rivers and streams in East China's Zhejiang province.

Philippines-based environmental activist Joan Carling has been conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as one of the world's most prominent defenders of environmental and indigenous rights.

The winners were recognised for their achievements in the categories including Policy Leadership, Entrepreneurial Vision, Science and Innovation, Inspiration and Action, and Lifetime Achievement. This year's laureates were recognised for a combination of bold, innovative, and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues of our times.

Also Read: The International Solar Alliance: India’s Own ‘OPEC’ Of Future

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