Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2022

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Alok Sharma


FEW politicians cry in public. Even fewer will say sorry and mean it. For Alok Sharma, the tears at COP26 in November 2021, not having slept for three nights, was a remarkable insight into the man charged with creating an agreement to stop global temperatures from rising.

Sharma is the man Boris Johnson turns to when he wants something to be done, someone he can rely on, someone who defends what appears to be indefensible, chances.

What a year 2021 turned out to be for the former business secretary. As the global economy went to hell in a handcart because of the pandemic, Sharma would often appear on the daily media round from dawn to dusk; from being interrogated on BBC Radio 4’s Today through to hosting the government’s daily press briefing. He defended the government to such an extent you could hear the frustration in the voices of the journalists as they tried to land a telling blow. Their bullets bounced off his reinforced shield.

“He is clearly highly trusted by the prime minister, and he is seen as a safe pair of hands,” says a parliamentarian who did not wish to be named. “Alok gets things done without wanting to hog the limelight, therefore, I think his reward has been to be made full-time president of COP26. Frankly, that is a hugely important role.

“It propelled him on to a global stage and funnily enough this is his ticket to greatness, because this was probably arguably the most important event of 2021. The whole world spotlight was on Glasgow, and he was at the helm.”

He became a household name around the world.

And Sharma is already making his presence felt. On January 26, 2021, at the closing session of the Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands

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