The World Government Summit held in Dubai felicitated federal environment minister Greg Hunt with the inaugural Best Minister in the World Award for his efforts towards reducing carbon emissions. The summit also featured a keynote address from the US President Barack Obama.

“On a personal level, I am genuinely humbled to receive this award. I am, however, deeply proud that this inaugural award is being presented to an environment minister,” Hunt told the summit as quoted by the Guardian while he accepted the award. “The environment is our common heritage, our land, our home and our identity. As an Australian I also see this as recognition of the profound work Australia has done in the environment space – and I thank you for that.”

In an interview with the Fairfax Media Hunt said, “This is really an award for Australia.”

He added that the award is a proof that Australia is a leader when it comes to environment policies and recognised his portfolio as a significant part of good governance.

Last year Hunt had approved the expansion of the Abbot point coal terminal in northern Queensland, which will allow coal from other projects to be shipped.

“The aim of this award is to recognise innovation in global government work and highlight ministerial initiatives that have resulted in positive changes in their communities,” the United Arab Emirates minister of cabinet affairs, Mohammed Al Gergawi, said. “Our world today needs ministers to serve as role models of thought and action, which bring about progress and welfare and improve general societal wellbeing.”

The World Government Summit aims at shaping the future of the governments worldwide through innovation and technology. The summit was attended by world leaders, scientists and media experts. The ABC reported that the keynote speakers at the summit included the former president of Ireland, Yusuf Islam, Mary Robinson and oceans conservation advocate Lewis Pugh.