Narendra Modi at BRICS 2018
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes his seat at the first closed session of the leaders of the BRICS summit meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi has been awarded Champions of the Earth Award, the United Nations highest environmental honour. The award was given for his leadership of the International Solar Alliance and pledge to stop usage of single use plastic in India by 2022. French President Emmanuel Macron has also been recognised for his leadership of the International Solar Alliance.

Six of the world's leading environmental changemakers have been awarded the Champions of the Earth Award.

In a statement, the UN Environment Programme said this year's awardees have been recognised for a combination of bold, innovative and tireless efforts to tackle some of the gravest environmental issues of our times.

Entrepreneurial Vision Award: Cochin International Airport has been honoured for use of sustainable energy. The airport is the world's first solar-powered airport and the citation says the airport is positive proof that green business is good business.

Other winners of the 2018 Champions of Earth Awards are: Lifetime achievement Award for Joan Carling. She has been one of the most prominent leaders in defending the environment and indigenous rights and has been at the forefront of the conflict for land and environment for more than 20 years.

Science and Innovation Award: Beyond meat and Impossible has been jointly recognised for development of plant-based alternative to beef and for their efforts of educating consumers about environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Inspiration and Action Award: China's Green Rural Revival Programme has been recognised for transforming a polluted area of rivers and streams in the Zhejiang province.

The awards will be presented on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly during the Champions of the Earth Gala in New York. The gala will be hosted by actor and environment activist Alec Baldwin and model, actor, producer and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza.