New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be conferred the United Nation’s highest environmental honour ‘Champions of The Earth Award’ at a special ceremony today by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a special ceremony in the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra. The PM will also address the gathering.

The recipients of the award were announced on the sidelines of 73rd UN General Assembly at New York City. “Prime Minister Modi has been 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,” an official statement added.

Awarded annually, the ‘Champions of the Earth’ prize is given to outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions “have had a positive impact on the environment”.  Apart from PM Modi, this year, the award would be given to French President Emmanuel Macron.

As soon as the names were announced, 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.

He expressed delight to see that the world has started accepting the importance of nature. “The struggle with nature has brought destruction, both on mankind as well as on nature. In this changing situation, all of us are putting emphasis on protecting nature. Whether you call it global warming, carbon emission, whether you are referring to ‘developed countries’ or ‘developing countries’, no matter what phrase you use, ultimately, we must all focus on climate justice,” he had added. (With Agency Inputs)