UK business minister Alok Sharma offered to resign from his ministerial position in order to take on a full-time role preparing for the country’s chairmanship of UN COP26 climate change summit, The Times reported on Saturday(2).
Alok Sharma, who is also president of this year’s climate summit, has told prime minister Boris Johnson that he would rather give up his position as business minister than step down from his role in climate change envoy, the newspaper reported.
In December, Johnson’s office denied a report that he wanted his predecessor David Cameron to take over from Sharma as president of next year’s UN COP26 climate change summit.
Sharma was appointed president of next year’s COP26 summit, an International UN climate conference, in February, after the sacking of former climate minister Claire O’Neill.
Originally scheduled for November 2020 in Glasgow, COP26 was delayed by a year due to Covid. It is the most significant climate event since Paris in 2015.
Climate experts and MPs have recently sought political and diplomatic support for harma as he ‘struggles to devote enough time’ to COP26, the UK’s biggest summit ever.
Richard Black, director of the energy & climate Intelligence Unit, told the BBC that though Sharma has an ‘understanding of the developing world’ as a former international development secretary, he ‘lacks time’.
Recently, a government spokesperson said that Sharma had been engaging with over 40 countries ahead of the event.
The Conservative chair of the environmental audit committee, Philip Dunne, has said that the president of COP should be a full time role.
The US President-elect Joe Biden had appointed former presidential nominee Kerry as his climate change envoy.
Labour’s Barry Gardiner, a former shadow minister for international climate change, has called for the replacement of Sharma as the president of COP26 summit.