Alok Sharma new president of COP26

New Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma will now chair COP26 in November.

The former International Development Secretary’s ascent follows the removal of Claire Perry O'Neill from the role.

In response to the appointment, Andrew Norton, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) said: “The government’s appointment of Alok Sharma was unexpected although his previous ministerial background in international development and the Foreign Office should mean he understands the scale of the task ahead and the importance of the voices of the most vulnerable countries.

“But the government must turn commitment into reality and make sure that every policy – both at home and abroad – is in line with addressing climate change. Its net zero pledge must be reflected across aid and trade, including making sure it ends all subsidies for fossil fuel exploration and production – including export credits.”

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