Comment on Alok Sharma COP26 speech

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma spoke ahead of November’s UN climate summit in Glasgow

By George Smeeton

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Commenting on a speech today from COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma ahead of November’s UN climate summit in Glasgow, Gareth Redmond-King, COP26 Communications and Engagement Lead at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “Alok Sharma’s speech today is an important reminder that there is a huge amount still to do in the six months left before COP26 in Glasgow. As well as the COP, the UK hosts G7 leaders in Cornwall in just a few weeks – and commitments on emissions reductions and climate finance are likely to be high on the agenda.

“With G7 finance Ministers meeting a week before the leaders, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s role will be in the spotlight. He has his work cut out to ensure finance Ministers deliver on promises to help poorer and less-developed countries cope with combined pressures of climate impacts, climate action and Covid recovery. Wealthy nations pledged $100bn a year in climate finance by last year, and poorer nations will look to them to work with other international donors and private finance to offer further debt relief too. The government’s decision to cut development aid from 0.7 to 0.5% of GDP has made this challenge harder, damaging the credibility of the UK to call on others to stump up more funding.

“Boris Johnson, and Dominic Raab will also be expected to step up and capitalise on momentum from new pledges made in recent weeks, and the credibility afforded by the UK’s own bold climate commitments, to lead others to stronger climate action, and momentum to COP26 in November.”