Accepting the ‘Champions of the Earth’ award from the United Nations Environment Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said that it did not belong to any individual but rather to the “great Indian tradition”. The Prime Minister was conferred with the award for his “unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022” and also for championing the use of solar energy.
“This honour does not belong to any one individual but for the great Indian tradition which has taught us the values of co-existence with nature since centuries. I’m pleased that today, the human race has begun to accept the significance of nature. The struggle with nature has only brought destruction, to both, the humankind and nature,” he said during his acceptance speech.
Acknowledging the changing situation, Modi said that people are environmentally conscious and are working towards protecting nature. Raising the issues of global warming, carbon emissions in reference to developing and developed nations and said, “whatever be the phrases used to describe, ultimately, we must all focus on climate justice.”
Speaking on the upliftment of marginalised communities, and the effect on them caused by the destruction of nature, the PM said, “The victims of climate injustice are the poor, marginalised and the deprived sections of the society. If we want to consider the welfare of the poor, the same kind of emphasis must be put on protecting nature as we put on other issues.”
While concluding his speech, Modi spoke of constant support on behalf of India in the pursuit of achieving climate justice as a goal and reiterated that this honour is conferred upon the population of 1.25 billion Indians as well as the ancient Indian tradition. He expressed gratitude to the UN, people of India and lastly, the Indian tradition.
At the event, Cochin International Airport took home the ‘Entrepreneurial Vision’ Award for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy. “Cochin is showing the world that our ever-expanding network of global movement doesn’t have to harm the environment. As the pace of society continues to increase, the world’s first fully solar-powered airport is proof positive that green business is good business,” UNEP statement said.