Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Claire Coutinho


A MAJOR figure in the Conservative Party and a close aide of prime minister Rishi Sunak, Claire Coutinho was promoted to Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero in September 2023, becoming the youngest cabinet minister at the age of 38. She also became the second Goan-origin minister after home secretary Suella Braverman in the Sunak cabinet (Braverman is no longer a member of the cabinet and was sacked from her post in November 2022). Coutinho was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children, Families and Wellbeing at the Department for Education from October 26, 2022 to August 30, 2023. Before that, she served as parliamentary under-secretary of state for disabled people from September to October 2022, and as parliamentary private secretary to the Treasury during the Covid-19 pandemic. “This is the most exciting sector to be in right now,” Coutinho said in her first keynote speech as energy secretary. “Energy also brings together the three key policy areas I’ve worked on my whole career: investment, jobs and economic growth; net zero and the wider environment; and helping disadvantaged families and communities, something I’ve always been passionate about,” she told the Energy UK conference 2023. Coutinho said she feels “enormously optimistic” about the energy sector, which supports millions of jobs around the country. The minister for net zero added that she is committed to delivering enough offshore wind to power every home in Britain by 2030 and generating enough solar energy to power over 28 million electric vehicles by 2035. Coutinho had served as a special adviser to Sunak at the Treasury before she was elected member of Parliament for East Surrey, south-east England, in December 2019. She was the first MP of the 2019 intake to be promoted to the cabinet. She started her career in

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