The United Nations' most prestigious environmental award is being presented today in New York to six laureates who are particularly active in defending the planet. The Champions of the Earth Award honors outstanding personalities from the public and private sectors and civil society, whose actions have had a positive and transformative impact on the environment.
The prizes will be awarded at the Champions of the Earth Gala Ceremony
held in conjunction with the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. The
ceremony, hosted by actor and environmental activist Alec Baldwin,
will bring together a cross-section of international leaders and influential
The 2018 winners are recognized for their courageous, innovative and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.
"In a world of uncertainty, one thing is certain: to meet the extraordinary challenges challenges facing our world today, we're going to need extraordinary talent and and bold new ideas." Erik Solheim, Head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The 2018 winners are:
- Joan Carling (Philippines), awarded for her body of work. She is one of the world's most illustrious defenders of environmental rights and indigenous peoples. Joan Carling has been at the forefront of land use conflict and environmental protection issues for over 20 years. Her tireless, selfless fight for the environment has made her a role model for people and communities the world over.
- Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, jointly awarded in theScience and Innovation category for their groundbreaking development of a plant-based food that could serve as a popular alternative to beef consumption, and for their efforts to raise consumer awareness of the ecological choices they can make.
- Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, recognized in the "Leadership in Policy Development" category for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and promoting new areas of environmental cooperation. Emmanuel Macron's Global Compact for the Environment and Narendra Modi's unprecedented commitment to eliminate all single-use plastics in India by 2022.
- The Zhejiang Green Rural Revitalization Program (China), awarded in the Inspiration and Action category for transforming a once heavily polluted area of rivers and streams in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. This particularly successful eco-restoration program is proof that economic and environmental development must be conducted in harmony.
- Cochin International Airport (India), awarded in the Entrepreneurial Vision category for its exemplary use of sustainable energy. Cochin airport demonstrates how our rapidly expanding global network can help protect the environment. As the company's pace of growth continues to accelerate, the world's first fully solar-powered airport is proof that environmentally-friendly business activities are good for the economy.