Maharashtra has won the Inspiring Regional Leadership Award from Under2 Coalition for Climate Action, which is the largest global network of states and regions committed to climate action. With that, Maharshtra became the only Indian state to win one of the three awards by U2 in Scotland, reported NDTV.
Aditya Thackeray, Maharashtra's environment minister and youngest Cabinet minister, received the prestigious award on behalf of the state. The other two awards were received by Columbia (Canada) for Creative Climate Solutions and Quebec (Canada) for Climate Partnerships.
Maharashtra had sent in entries for all three categories of U2 — Inspiring Regional Leadership, Creative Climate Solutions, and Climate Partnerships.
"This state wants to lead the way in India to tackle climate change. The Chief Minister (Uddhav Thackeray) is a passionate wildlife enthusiast and conservationist, and he has given us the opportunity to dream of a better future, a greener future. We have started with a movement called Majhi Vasundhara, which means 'My Planet'. We are focussing on the traditional five elements of nature," Thackeray said.
He even pointed out how the state government was taking all possible measures to shift from conventional energy like thermal or coal energy. "Just recently we've solarised a highway and we will be generating 250 MW of energy. We have put out the tender document and we will be generating 250MW solar energy from the new highway between Mumbai and Nagpur."
"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," he added.
Under Thackeray, Maharshtra "notified over 9,800 hectares of mangroves as protected areas and launched the first state-wide programme in the country on climate change mitigation and adaptation".
Maharashtra suffered expenses worth $2 billion due to climate-related disasters during the past year.
(With inputs from NDTV)