UNEP chief appreciates Cochin International Airport Ltd’s solar power plant

Solheim’s visit is aimed at spreading the word about the success of the solar power plant in Kerala across the world. 

Published: 27th May 2018 01:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2018 02:18 AM   |  A+A-

United Nations Environment Programme executive director Erick Solheim with a pumpkin cultivated on the ground beneath the solar power plant at the Cochin International Airport, on Saturday | A Sanesh

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Cochin International Airport Ltd’s (CIAL) solar power plant may get UN recognition soon, said Erik Solheim, executive director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), during his visit to the airport on Saturday. Solheim’s visit is aimed at spreading the word about the success of the solar power plant in Kerala across the world. 

“The UN will be happy to recognise CIAL as the first fully solar energy-powered airport,” said Solheim.
“Last year was the first time in human history when we got more solar energy in the global grid than oil, gas, coal and nuclear combined. This is a big airport in the global scale which caters to around 10 million passengers. It was nice to see they are using the grounds in the solar plant to grow vegetables,” said Solheim.

Following his first stop in Kerala, Solheim will continue his visit to more states in India to check the different experiments the governments adopt in developing green farming techniques. He urged the government and the people to reduce the use of plastic which causes pollution that affects all creatures on earth.

He said he will be speaking with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers on June 5, in Delhi, where he will discuss the concerns over the rise of plastic pollution across the country. “The driving change developing countries like India and China make are very important to the world,” he added.

CIAL managing director V J Kurien noted it was a proud moment for the airport to be appreciated by a UN officer. “During our meeting, we discussed the technicalities of the project, and also prospects on partnership,” he said.UN Environment chief, India, Atul Bagai, Airport director A C K Nair, executive director A M Basheer, and general manager Jose Thomas were also present at the conference. 

‘Police should not use ammunition’

Development must not harm the public in any way, said UNEP executive director Erik Solheim, reacting to the Sterlite protest in Thoothukudi. “We are extremely sorry for the loss of life in Tamil Nadu. This should not happen. A protest must be without violence and the police should not use ammunition,” he said, conveying his condolences to the victim.


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