Former Norwegian diplomat, politician and environment minister Erik Solheim, who played a crucial role in 2018 as the UN Environment chief in convincing India to phase out single-use plastics by 2022, was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Republic Day greetings.
In a letter to former UN Environment Executive Director Solheim that he shared on his Twitter handle on Monday, Modi wrote, “You have been an important and influential voice on issue of green growth and climate change. Your unique perspective on India and support to its efforts to combat climate change are valuable.”
“India is witnessing a series of historic socio-economic transformations, I am confident these will empower lives and contribute to the global good.”
Modi further wrote that he look forward to interact with you in the times to come.
Indian ambassador Bala Bhaskar last weekend handed the letter from the Prime Minister to Solheim.
“I am humbled that the Prime Minister recognizes me as a friend of India. India will be a green leader of the future and I am happy to bring Indian inspiration to the world,” Solheim said.
Phasing out the single-use plastics by India is one of the major achievements against the plastic pollution.
Solheim is optimistic that India can act as a catalyst for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
“India is right to point to the fact that developed nations have produced nearly all historic climate emissions and still pollute a lot more per capita than India. But there is no reason for India to follow the old paradigm that first you pollute horrendously and only when you get rich you start cleaning up,” Solheim told IANS in a recent interview.
“The 21st century is about the win-win policies. India can urgently go green and create millions of jobs bringing people out of poverty at the same time.”