Kerala's Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) was honoured for its entrepreneurial vision and for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy, after it was conferred the UN ‘Champions of the Earth’ award at a ceremony in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
"Delighted that Cochin International Airport's remarkable usage of sustainable energy has been recognised and the Airport is a proud recipient of the UN ‘Champions of the Earth’ Awards," PM Modi tweeted.
"The Airport is an inspiration for several other airports in how we can leverage the power of solar energy for a better tomorrow," he added.
Founder and MD of CIAL, VJ Kurian, who pioneered the idea of making the airport the world’s first one to be fully powered by solar energy, received the coveted prize from Sathyapal Thripati, Assistant Secretary.
Cochin International Airport took home the award for Entrepreneurial Vision category. “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,” said the official press release issued by the United Nations Environment Programme in connection with the award ceremony.
In his acceptance speech, VJ Kurian said that at a time when the state of Kerala is slowly rebuilding itself, CIAL pledges to fight climate change and global warming and to make this a better world. “I am proud that our honourable prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi is also a recipient of this year’s Champions of the Earth Award. I wish to dedicate this award to the people of Kerala, who recently suffered the worst monsoon flooding since 1924, and to our Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan who led us during the difficult days, with his tenacity, fortitude and determination” he said.
“We will continue to take up new challenges, to stay driven by new ideas and to innovate for a better future,” he added.
UN Environment chief Erik Solheim said in his address that in a world of uncertainty, it was certain that we would not solve the extraordinary challenges our world faces today without extraordinary talent, new thinking and bold ideas. “The Champions of the Earth Award and Young Champions of the Earth Prize recognise those not afraid to chart unknown waters or be the voice of the voiceless. These people are changing our world today for a better tomorrow,” he added.
With IANS inputs