Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the UNEP Champions of the Earth award, UN’s highest environmental honour, from the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Guterres said PM Modi recognised the fact that climate change poses a direct existential threat to us. “He knows what we need to do to avoid a catastrophe. Other leaders also recognise, know and understand, but the difference is that he not only recognizes but he acts.”
Modi was conferred the award on September 26 by the United Nations (UN) on the sidelines of 73rd UN General Assembly in New York City.
Expressing gratitude to the global community for conferring the award upon him, Modi had earlier dedicated it to the country and its long tradition of co-existing with nature.
Asserting that the poor and the marginalised were the ultimate victims of the climate injustice, Modi said “we need to put the same emphasis on protecting nature as we do on other issues”.
Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron were named as recipients of the prestigious award for their exemplary leadership and advocating action on sustainable development and climate change.
The Indian Prime Minister was selected in the leadership category for his pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and for his unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022, it said.