India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred the Champions of the Earth Award 2018 for Policy Leadership by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a ceremony at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra.
In his address, the Prime Minister said that the award is for all those unknown faces, who work in far-flung settlements, mountainous regions, tribal areas for years. He emphasized that the award is an honour for the India’s continual, new, eternal and ancient tradition and is the reflection of our commitment for sustainable energy. He also congratulated the other laureates of the award in other categories. Modi underlined that climate and calamity have a direct relationship with culture and till the concerns over climate become a part of culture, it will be difficult to escape calamities. Stating that India’s sensitivity towards environment is today being acknowledged the world over, Modi underlined that in India, nature has been considered a living entity as well as a being that co-exists. He referred to the Clean Air campaign to sensitise ground-level functionaries and general public to enforce the habit of environmental protection.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary General, United Nations, Antonio Guterres said, “Today we recognise a statesman, who embodies the true meaning of leadership.” Guterres praised the sensitivity towards nature and environment being a part of Indian tradition. “I must confess that the impact of Prime Minister Modi’s decisions has already reached the executive office of United Nations. Prime Minister Modi decided that India should restrict the use of single use plastic in less than five years. In the office of United Nations, I have decided that there is no single use of plastic”, the UN Secretary General said. He said that climate action is the right approach from the point of view of environment, economy and development.
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