Comment: Alok Sharma to become COP26 President full-time

Published:08 January 2021

Commenting on the news that Alok Sharma is to become COP26 President full-time,Richard Black, Senior Associate at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “Allowing Alok Sharma to focus full-time on his COP26 role is a sensible decision, not least as it signals the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the summit is a success.

“Being President of COP26 needs a full-time focus, but Mr Sharma will also need the full backing of Number 10 and other key parts of Government, such as the Foreign Office. Although the pandemic makes a tough job even more challenging, the Government should focus squarely on building diplomatic alliances as the French did ahead of the successful Paris summit, including with the smallest and least developed nations whose support will be critical for achieving a positive summit outcome.

“With the election of Joe Biden as the next US President and China’s recent carbon neutrality pledge, the diplomatic opportunities have opened up for more ambitious action on climate change. Mr Sharma’s job will be to seize them.”

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