French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been recognised in the Policy Leadership category of the United Nation's Champions of the Earth award, the world body's highest environmental honour, for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and promoting new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action.
This also includes Macron's work on the Global Pact for the Environment and Prime Minister Modi's pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022.
Meanwhile, the Cochin International Airport will take home the award for Entrepreneurial Vision for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy. The coastal city is showing the world that the UN's ever-expanding network of global movement does not 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.
China's Green Rural Revival Programme has been awarded for Inspiration and Action for the transformation of a once heavily polluted area of rivers and streams in East China's Zhejiang province. This eco-restoration program shows the transformative power of economic and environmental development together.
Philippines-based environmental activist Joan Carling has been conferred with the lifetime achievement award for her work as one of the world's most prominent defenders of environmental and indigenous rights. Carling has been at the forefront of the conflict for land and environment for more than 20 years. Her tireless and selfless fight for the environment has made her a champion among people and communities all over the globe.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have been jointly recognised in the Science and Innovation category for their revolutionary development of a popular, plant-based alternative to beef, and for their efforts to educate consumers about environmentally conscious alternatives.
The winners were recognised for their achievements in the categories including Policy Leadership, Entrepreneurial Vision, Science and Innovation, Inspiration and Action, and Lifetime Achievement. This year's laureates were recognised for a combination of bold, innovative, and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues of our times.
The awards will be presented during the Champions of the Earth Gala in New York, on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly. The gala, hosted by actor and environmental activist Alec Baldwin and model, actress, producer and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza, will bring together a cross-section of world leaders and influencers to celebrate momentum for change in defence of the planet.