PM Modi, French President Macron get UN's highest environmental honor
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron have been jointly awarded the UN's highest environmental honor for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and promoting new areas of cooperation on environmental action. Modi and Macron are among the six of the world's most outstanding environmental change-makers recognized with the Champions of the Earth Award. Here's more.
"This year's laureates are recognized for a combination of bold, innovative and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most urgent environmental issues of our times," the UN Environment Program said. The efforts include Macron's work on the Global Pact for the Environment, Modi's "unprecedented" pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic by 2022 and also the joint launch of the ISA in 2015.
The ISA, launched in Paris on the sidelines of COP-21, the UN Climate Conference, is a treaty-based international body for the promotion of solar energy in alliance with solar-rich countries located fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Cochin International Airport has also been honored with the award for Entrepreneurial Vision, for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy. The other winners are Joan Carling, recognized 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.
China's Zhejiang's Green Rural Revival Program is awarded for Inspiration and Action for the transformation of a once heavily polluted area of rivers and streams in East China's Zhejiang province. This exceptionally successful eco-restoration program shows the transformative power of economic and environmental development together.
The awards will be presented during Champions of the Earth Gala in New York City, on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly. The gala, hosted by actor and environmental activist Alec Baldwin and actress and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza, will bring together a cross-section of world leaders and influencers to celebrate momentum for change in defense of our one planet.
Past laureates of the award 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).