India Abroad

PM Modi Wins Highest UN Environment Award 'Champions Of The Earth'

| September 27 , 2018 , 08:07 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Wednesday announced as one of the 6 winners of the UN's highest environmental award, the 'Champions of the Earth' honour. India's Cochin International Airport also won a 'Champions of the Earth' award in the category of Entrepreneurial Vision, for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy.

The 6 winners have been selected as the world's most outstanding environmental change-makers in categories including Policy Leadership, Entrepreneurial Vision, Science and Innovation, Inspiration and Action, and Lifetime Achievement.

According to a release on the UN Environment official site, "This years’ laureates are recognized for a combination of bold, innovative, and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most urgent environmental issues of our times."

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PM Modi and President of France Emmanuel Macron have been 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."

Other winners include Joan Carling, who was recognised with the lifetime achievement award for her work as one of the world’s most prominent defenders of environmental and indigenous rights.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods were jointly recognized in the Science and Innovation category, for their development of a popular, plant-based alternative to beef, while China’s Zhejiang’s Green Rural Revival Programme won the award for Inspiration and Action for the transformation of a once heavily polluted area of rivers and streams in East China's Zhejiang province.

The Champions of the Earth award is the United Nation's highest environmental recognition celebrating "exceptional figures from the public and private sectors and from civil society, whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment".

Previous winners include Afroz Shah, who led the world’s largest beach cleanup (2016), Rwandan President Paul Kagame (2016), former US Vice-President Al Gore (2007), Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat (2014), scientist-explorer Bertrand Piccard, and developer of Google Earth Brian McClendon (2013).