United Nations (UN) environment chief Erik Solheim has showered praises upon India for taking up leadership role by pledging to phase out single-use plastics by 2022.
Describing the World Environment Day celebrations in India “historic”, Solheim said, “As global host, India took charge, organising hundreds of events around the country, from beach and river cleanups, to awareness-building efforts with young people.”
During the World Environment Day 2018 celebrations on June 5 in New Delhi, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had pledged to eliminate single-use plastics from India by 2022.
The UN environment chief said that India made incredible announcements that will have a “definite impact” on the global fight against plastic pollution.
“By announcing that the country will phase out single-use plastics by 2022, India has demonstrated global leadership and it’s now up to other countries to follow India’s lead,” he said.
Solheim said that he was honoured to be present with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he signed the UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign.
“While I know implementation is a challenge, I have absolutely no doubt that India will succeed and this will have a major impact on the world,” Solheim added.
India was the global host nation for the 43rd edition of the World Environment Day event held on June 5. In an effort to protect the environment for years to come and for the future generation, the UN theme for this year's World Environment Day was 'beat plastic pollution'.
During the event, Modi had said, “the quest for material prosperity can’t lead to environmental degradation. An unclean environment hurts the poor and vulnerable the most.”
He also called upon people to build a “strong partnership” and make the right choices for cleaner and greener future.