Indian organisation wins UN Global Climate Action Award to combat climate change amid COVID-19 pandemic

GHE is an organisation that conducts ‘Impacts Expeditions’ to the Himalayan villages in remote areas. It uses a portion of the charged expedition fee in funding the cost of transportation, hardware, training, and installation of village-scale solar microgrids.

Oct 28, 2020 13:43 IST

The Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) has won the prestigious 2020 UN Global Climate Action Award for its efforts to tackle climate change amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

GHE is an Indian organization that leverages technology and tourism in order to help remote communities access solar energy. The recipients of the UN award have brought focus to the examples of what people have been doing across the globe to fight climate change in a year that cast darkness on many.

As per the statement on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), GHE is among the world’s first outfit to use tourism and technology to bring solar energy to the remote communities as recognized by UNWTO- United Nations World Tourism Organisation and WTTC- World Travel and Tourism Council.

What is the Global Himalayan Expedition?

There are more than 16 million people in the Hindu Kush region who don’t have access to basic energy. The reason is mainly because of geographic remoteness. GHE is an organisation that conducts ‘Impacts Expeditions’ to the Himalayan villages in these remote areas.

It uses a portion of the charged expedition fee in funding the cost of transportation, hardware, training, and installation of village-scale solar microgrids. The micro-grid infrastructure set up by the Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) is then owned and operated by the community.

Achievements of GHE:

•  Till date, the organisation has solar electrified more than 131 villages in three regions of India. It has directly impacted the lives of more than 60,000 villagers.

•  More than 1,300 travellers from 60 different countries have also been a part of these expeditions.

•  Over USD 1,14,000 has been generated in income for the villages by enabling livelihood through homestay tourism.

About the UN Global Climate Action Award:

The awards are lead by the momentum for change initiative at UN Climate Change. The announcement of awards is also a wider effort to mobilize ambition and action as national governments work towards the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The projects under the UN Global Climate Action Award are recognised as the innovative solutions that help drive progress on many other sustainable development goals and not just address climate change. The recipients of the award send a strong political signal to all the nations.

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