New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday received the ‘Champions of the Earth’ award, UN’s top environmental honour, for international solar alliance initiative. The PM was selected along with four other environmental changemakers. An official statement said PM Modi and French president Emmanuel Macron were recognised 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.”

PM Modi accepted the award from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He said, “It is an honour for Indians. Indians are committed to saving the environment.” Among the other recipient of the awards was the Cochin International Airport, which received the award in the Entrepreneurial Vision category. The airport was hailed 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,” the United Nations said in a statement.

The award recognises leaders from government, civil society and the private sector who have had a positive impact on the environment. It has felicitated 84 laureates, ranging from leaders of nations to grassroots activists.

PM Modi had dedicated the award to all Indians and the country’s tradition of coexisting with nature. “I would like to express my gratitude to the global community for conferring this honour upon me. This honour is not meant for any individual, but rather for the great Indian tradition through which, for centuries, we have been taught values like coexistence with nature,” he had said as a part of his acceptance speech.