What: As India prepares to host the global celebrations for World Environment Day, UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim arrives in the country to participate in a series of events across the country to address the scourge of plastic pollution and other environmental initiatives.
The story: In Mumbai on May 31, Solheim will join the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis in kick-starting the state’s ambitious e-mobility policy. The Government of Maharashtra, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited and UN Environment will sign an agreement paving the way for close collaboration on the leasing of e-vehicles for the state government. The partners will also flag off self-drive e-car rental start-up Zoomcar India Pvt. Ltd which aims to expand e-vehicles use in the state with Mahindra and Mahindra. While in India’s financial hub, Solheim will also interact with leading Chief Executive Officers to discuss the role of industry in tackling plastic pollution and innovating to a circular economy.
On June 1, Solheim will travel to Hyderabad where he will visit the Infosys Information Technology Special Economic Zone, one of the greenest corporate campuses anywhere in the world. Through a series of innovations, the company has slashed electricity consumption, pioneered energy-efficient buildings and deployed renewable technologies like biogas and solar. From there, the UN Environment Chief will travel to meet with KT Rama Rao, Cabinet Minister for the State for Information Technology, Municipal Administration and Urban Development and discuss efforts by the city to go single-use plastic-free.
On June 2, Solheim will travel to Andhra Pradesh, where the government will launch a scale-out plan to transition 6 million farms/farmers cultivating 8 million hectares of land from conventional synthetic chemical agriculture to Zero-Budget Natural Farming by 2024, making Andhra Pradesh India’s first 100% natural farming state. The official launch of the programme marks an unprecedented commitment by the state to promote the scale-out of climate-resilient, regenerative agriculture in a broader effort to transform and protect local food systems and long-term well-being of farmers.
On June 3, Solheim will visit New Delhi for official talks, and then Agra, and hear new commitments on keeping the home of the iconic Taj Mahal free of single-use plastic pollution.
In New Delhi on June 4, Solheim will join India’s State Environment Ministers for a conference covering the environmental challenges India and the world are facing, including on the World Environment Day theme of plastic pollution.
On June 5, a series of events are planned in New Delhi, with the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. More information on the day’s programme to follow.
Opportunity: UN Environment is inviting members of the press to join and cover Solheim’s visit. Arrangements for interviews made upon request.
Date/time: 31 May 2018, 9 am onwards
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