Prime Minister Narendra Modi courted global fame when the United Nation Secretary General Antonio Guterres presented him its highest environmental honour ‘Champions of The Earth Award’ at a special ceremony today.
PM Modi has got this award jointly with Emmanuel Macron, the president of France. The award was announced on September 26 on the sidelines of 73rd UN General Assembly in New York.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, are recognized 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
What is the Champions of the Earth award?
Champions of the Earth, the UN’s highest environmental honour, celebrates outstanding figures from the public and private sectors and from civil society whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment.
Launched in 2005, Champions of the Earth has recognized dozens of exemplary individuals and organizations.
Past laureates include Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, ocean explorer and conservationist Sylvia Earle, and the National Geographic Society, among many others.
ISA: Modi’s most ambitious global move
International Solar Alliance, or ISA, is an Indian initiative which was jointly launched by PM Modi and Macron on November 30, 2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of COP-21, the UN Climate Conference.
ISA aims at addressing obstacles to deployment at scale of solar energy through better harmonisation and aggregation of demand from solar rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
ISA is an inter-governmental treaty-based organisation of countries between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, looking to promote solar energy in the member nations.
Modi’s war on single-use plastic
The US award also recognises Modi’s ambitious aim to eliminate all single-use plastics (items like carry bags, straws and water bottles among others) from the country by 2022, the year which coincides with 75 years of the country’s independence. India is preparing to join the ‘Clean Seas Campaign’ and make its contribution towards saving our oceans,” Modi said on the occasion. The annual average per capita consumption of plastic in India is at 11 kg as against global average of 28 kg.