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Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award on 5 March 2021 for his commitment to a sustainable energy future. Accepting the award, the Prime Minister dedicated it to the people of India and the traditions of our motherland. He said caring for the environment is deeply rooted in the traditions of the country.

PM Modi conferred with the award
PM Modi conferred with the award

The award was presented to the Prime Minister on the final day of the five-day global annual energy conference CERAWeek by IHS Markit, held virtually during 1-5 March 2021. Instituted in 2016, the award recognizes the commitment of leadership on the future of global energy and environment, and for offering solutions and policies for energy access, affordability and environmental stewardship.

The Prime Minister also delivered the keynote address during the special session with IHS Markit Vice Chairman Dr Daniel Yergin. Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said that people of India are leaders when it comes to looking after the environment. Nature and divinity are closely linked in our culture and our gods and goddesses are associated with trees or animals, he added. Crediting our culture, PM Modi mentioned that India’s forest cover has grown significantly over the last seven years and announced that the country is on track to achieve its Paris Agreement targets well before its target date of 2030.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering keynote speech at CERAWeek 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering keynote speech at CERAWeek 2021

Remembering the father of the nation, PM Modi said that Mahatma Gandhi was one of the greatest environmental champions to have ever lived. He remarked that if humanity had followed the path given by Mahatma Gandhi, we would not face many problems we do today. PM Modi then urged everyone to visit the hometown of Mahatma Gandhi in the coastal city of Porbandar in Gujarat, where he said people can get practical lessons on water conservation.

The Prime Minister said that climate change and calamities are major challenges, which he said are interlinked. “There are two ways to fight them: one is through policies, laws, rules and orders. There is no doubt these have their own importance.” However, he argued that the most powerful way to fight climate change is behavioral change. “Let us fix ourselves, and the world will be a better place.” He also noted that we need to offer innovative, affordable and public participation powered solutions to bring about a large scale behavioral change.

During the session, Dr Yergin also noted that PM Modi has been guiding India towards economic growth, energy security and environmental stewardship in this age of energy transition. “As India strives to meet its climate and environmental objectives, it also needs growing energy supplies to support economic growth and promote equity and rising living standards that will bring hundreds of millions out of poverty and into the middleclass, one of the largest middleclasses in the world.”

IHS Markit Vice Chairman Dr Daniel Yergin speaking during the session
IHS Markit Vice Chairman Dr Daniel Yergin speaking during the session

He also noted that India is aggressively pushing into renewable energy, with ambitious targets for wind and solar energies. Dr Yergin said next generation fuels like hydrogen and biofuels are also high on India’s energy agendas. He pointed out that this new thinking in energy has included a shift towards markets and to reforms that encourage domestic and international investment to increase supply, foster innovation and keep the country growing.

Talking about ecofriendly mobility, PM Modi mentioned that India is working on a metro network in 27 towns and cities across the country. He said LNG is being promoted as a fuel and a National Hydrogen Mission has been launched to promote the use of hydrogen as fuel. The PM informed that LPG coverage in India has also seen a remarkable growth -- from 55 per cent in 2014 to 99.6 per cent today. He announced that 5,000 compressed biogas plants are to be set up by 2024 with the production target of 15 MMT to help the environment and further human empowerment.

A visual from the special session
A visual from the special session

“Waste to wealth is becoming the buzz word in India. Our citizens are coming up with unique recycling models in diverse sectors. This will give boost to the circular economy.” He also spoke about the growing acceptance to ethanol across India and said the target of 20 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol by 2030 has been advanced to 2025.

Advocating against the overuse of natural resources, the Prime Minister talked about climate justice to help fight climate change and argued to think logically and ecologically. Demonstrating his dedication to environment sustainability, PM Modi mentioned that the initial success of International Solar Alliance has shown how serious India is when it comes to making efforts for a better planet.

CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award
CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award

Agreeing with his mantra for thinking “logically and ecologically”, Dr Yergin thanked the Prime Minister for sharing his message on public policy, technology, role of justice and behavior. Dr Yergin also noted that PM Modi is shifting India to become a gas based-economy, which he said will not only reduce urban pollution but also unlock many new opportunities across the nation.



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