Christian Aid’s Global Climate Lead, Dr Kat Kramer, has welcomed the appointment of Alok Sharma as COP26 President.
She said: “Taking on the delicate and grave task of ensuring these crucial talks succeed is a huge responsibility for the UK and its role on the global stage.
“It would have been a big task had Aloka Sharma been in post from the beginning, rather than coming in late in the process. It’s now vital he works very closely with the backing of the Prime Minister to both get other countries to commit to new pledges to tackle the climate crisis but also put the UK’s own house in order and enact policies to accelerate UK decarbonisation. As Secretary of State of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Sharma will be well placed to oversee this.
“For developing countries this will require technological and financial support so they can leapfrog our dirty development path and increase their resilience to climate impacts.
“In order to be a credible host, the UK needs to rapidly step up efforts to reduce emissions at home, not just boast about its 2050 net zero target. The target is only worth anything if it drives short term decarbonisation and so far those plans are thin on the ground.
“The UK also needs to stop spending taxpayers’ money to prop up the fossil fuel industry – which has done the most to fuel this climate fire.
“For the summit to be fit for purpose it needs to ensure the voices of the most vulnerable are heard and their needs are prioritised over those of richer nations. Countries like the UK have a particular responsibility to ensure this happens, given their role in causing the climate crisis.”