Maharashtra is the only Indian state to have been awarded at the COP26 summit, Glasgow, for the initiative it has shown in tackling climate change. By Naina Atri
For nearly three decades, the United Nations has been bringing together countries for global climate summits called ‘Conference of the Parties’, or COP. The 26th edition was held in Glasgow, Scotland, this year. Coinciding with the COP26 were the Under 2 Coalition’s leadership awards. The U2 is a leadership group of states and regions committed to ambitious climate action, and the awards were aimed at recognising and promoting their achievements. Maharashtra is one such trailblazer in the fight against climate that was recognised at the international summit.
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Maharashtra’s Minister for Environment, Tourism and Protocol, Aditya Thakeray, accepted the Inspiring Regional Leadership Award on behalf of the state, which is the only Indian state to have won an award. Thakeray spoke about the different steps the state has taken, such as the Majhi Vasundhara (My Planet) movement, and a shift from conventional energy sources to clean energy like solar energy, as reported by NDTV.
“We strongly believe that it is high time we put in collective efforts and meaningful actions to work on this global issue that sees no borders of geography, race, nationality or gender. We are truly delighted to have been recognised by the Under2 Coalition for our heartfelt ongoing contribution towards climate action,” said the minister. In 2019, Aaditya Thackeray became Maharashtra’s youngest cabinet minister and has been recognised as an important figure in the state’s climate action plans.
Maharashtra in its entry for the awards highlighted how the state had elevated climate change onto a preeminent position when it came to policymaking, thus presenting its ardent commitment to sustainable development, as reported by Mid-Day. The state also partnered with the UN Race to Zero Initiative, as part of its attempt to join the global fight.
The other two awards were won by British Columbia (Canada) for Creative Climate Solutions and Quebec (Canada) for Climate Partnerships.