Cochin International Airport Current Affairs - 2019
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron jointly awarded 2018 Champions of the Earth award, UN’s highest environmental honour.
They were chosen in Policy Leadership category of the award for their pioneering work in championing International Solar Alliance (ISA) and promoting new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action. It also PM Modi’s unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022.
This year six of the world’s most outstanding environmental changemakers were recognised with the Champions of the Earth Award by United Nations Environment Programme. They were recognised for combination of bold, innovative and tireless efforts to tackle some of most urgent environmental issues of our times. The awards will be presented during the Champions of the Earth Gala in New York City, on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly.
Other winners of 2018 Champions of Earth awards
India’s Cochin International Airport: It was awarded in Entrepreneurial Vision category for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy. It is world’s first fully solar-powered airport.
Joan Carling: She was awarded lifetime achievement award for her work as one of the world’s most prominent defenders of environmental and indigenous rights.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods: They were jointly recognised in 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.
China’s Zhejiang’s Green Rural Revival Programme: It was awarded in inspiration and action category for transformation of once heavily polluted area of rivers and streams in East China’s Zhejiang province.
Champions of the Earth award
It is UN’s highest environmental recognition celebrating exceptional figures from public and private sectors and from civil society, whose actions have had transformative positive impact on the environment. It was established in 2005 by United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). This award programme is successor to UNEP’s Global 500 Roll of Honour.
Past laureates include: Afroz Shah, who led world’s largest beach cleanup (2016), Rwandan President Paul Kagame (2016), Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat (2014), scientist-explorer Bertrand Piccard, developer of Google Earth Brian McClendon (2013), and former US Vice-President Al Gore (2007).
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has recognised Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) in Kerala as the world’s first fully solar energy-powered airport. CIAL is India’s first airport to be constructed in public-private-partnership (PPP) model in 1999. It is the busiest and largest airport in the state of Kerala. It is only PPP airport in the country that has handled more than 5 million passengers in year. The airport has 15 MWp solar power plant near the cargo complex of airport comprising 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres.
The solar power plant generates 50,000 units of electricity daily. It makes airport absolutely power neutral in terms of energy consumption as it consumes around 50000 to 60000 units of electricity per day. The plant system is without any battery storage as it is directly connected to the grid.
The airport’s green power project does not result in any carbon dioxide emissions. It also produces clean source of energy equivalent to non-clean energy produced from coal fired power plants by burning more than 3 lakh metric tonnes of Coals. This plant is also equivalent to planting 30 lakh trees.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. It was founded as result of United Nations Conference on Human Environment in June 1972. It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP also has six regional offices and various country offices.
UNEP acts as catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote wise use and sustainable development of global environment. It works with wide range of partners, including UN entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, private sector and civil society.