Guterres confers UN award on Modi

Guterres confers UN award on Modi

Prime minister and French president Emmanuel Macron were honoured with Champion of the Earth award

Prime Minister Narendra Modi after receiving the UN's highest environmental honour 'Champions of The Earth Award' at a special ceremony, in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday was conferred with the Champion of Earth Award by the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres for realising the problems of climate change and finding solutions for the same.

Guterres handed over the award to Modi and hailed him as a statesman who embodied “true leadership”.

Modi along with French president Emmanuel Macron was selected for the United Nations Environment Programme's the Champion of the Earth honour 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”.

“Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi understands the benefit of climate action. Many other leaders also recognise, know & understand. The difference is, he doesn't just recognise, know & understand, he act,” Guterres said.

Accepting the award, Modi said that the honour was the result of the commitment that the people of India have towards the environment.

Modi reiterated India's commitment to bring down “emission intensity” by 20-25% in the next two years against its 2005 figure and by 30-35% by 2030.

“We have also pledged to get rid of single-use plastics by 2022,” he said.

The prime minister said climate and calamity were linked to culture, and it would be difficult to avoid calamity as long as concerns for the climate do not become a part of culture.

Modi quoted religious verses and hymns and traditions to assert that respecting nature had always been part of Indian society.