Mexican president, China's entrepreneur win UN Environmental Awards

10:13, May 11, 2011      

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a Russian scientist, a Swiss teacher, a Beninoise singer and a renowned Chinese entrepreneur received this year's UN flagship global environmental awards for their action and dedication towards global green growth here, according to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on Tuesday.

Calderon was awarded the 2011 Champion of the Earth in Policy Leadership for his commitment to lead international efforts to combat climate change.

It was "a great honor" to receive this award, said Calderon, adding that he considered it as recognition of the efforts of the Mexican government and people in protecting the environment, including fighting climate change.

From using green technology to cut air pollution in China, to tackling the impact of toxic chemicals in Eastern Europe or crossing the globe to fly the flag for solar power, this year's Champions laureates are environmental leaders and innovators from all corners of the globe.

Zhang Yue, president of China's Broad Industrial Group was awarded the Champion in Entrepreneurial Vision for his business leadership on energy efficiency and sustainable production, while Dr. Olga Speranskaya from Russia in Science and Innovation for her successful mobilization of civil society in eliminating obsolete pesticides and toxic chemicals in the former Soviet region.

The Champions in Inspiration and Action were awarded to Louis Palmer, a Swiss teacher who drove an electric car around the world primarily powered by solar energy, and Beninoise singer Angelique Kidjo, a Grammy Award winner, for advocacy on social equity and women empowerment in support of sustainable development.

Each laureate received a 40,000-U.S.-dollar cash prize and a commemorative trophy at an award ceremony hosted by UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors Gisele Bundchen and Don Cheadle at the American Museum of Natural History.

Launched in 2005, Champions of the Earth to date has recognized 46 individuals and organizations for their leadership, vision, inspiration and action on the environment. The diverse list of previous Champions laureates include former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, Chinese actress and environmental advocate Zhou Xun.

Source: Xinhua
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