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New Delhi Correspondent
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was presented the UN Environment Champions of the Earth award at a function here on Wednesday as he asserted that the problem of climate change cannot be tackled without ensuring “climate justice.”

Addressing the audience after receiving the award from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a function ere, Modi said infrastructure development in India is being linked to sustainable environment and inclusive growth.

“Climate change cannot be tackled without ensuring climate justice. This is why I talk of climate justice,” Modi said in an apparent reference to the right of developing and least developing countries to go for higher levels of economic progress.

This, he said, acquires importance as India is one of those countries witnessing the fastest urbanization in the world. Emphasis is being given to make urban life smart and sustainable, he added.

Modi said national highways and expressways across India are being made eco-friendly and a green corridor built along side them , metro rail operation is being linked to solar energy and the dependence on fossil fuel for running trains is being reduced fast.

He said water and energy conservation and rainwater harvesting technology are being promoted across different walks of life in India.

Modi said although India has for centuries has been sensitive to environment, it is only now that this is being recognized by the world.

He said climate and calamity culture are inseparably linked and tackling a natural calamity is difficult without acknowledging this.

The UN Secretary General, in his speech, said “a green economy is a good economy and technology is on the side of those who believe in a green economy. Those who believe in a grey economy have a grey future:.”

Commending Modi’s commitment to environment protection, Guterres said “we are recognizing a statesman who embodies true leadership.”

“We have a leader who realises the issue of climate change and understands the benefits of climate action. He knows the problems & also works to solve them,” said the UN Secretary General.