Who is the new COP president Alok Sharma?

Alok Sharma, who has taken on the joint role of COP president and business secretary, has a major task on his hands to bring the UK’s preparations for this year’s climate talks back on track after a rocky few weeks.

Over the eight months he served as secretary for international development, Sharma emphasised the need for climate change to be addressed across government and to be embedded into its approach to foreign aid and investment. 

At a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference in September, he said that tackling climate change was fundamental to the mission of the Department for International Development (DfID).

“One, we are there to eradicate extreme poverty, and two, we are ultimately there to make countries self-sustaining,” he said. “You cannot do either of those unless you tackle climate change.”

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