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by Louise Wilson
08 January 2021
Alok Sharma takes on COP26 president role full-time

WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA

Alok Sharma takes on COP26 president role full-time

Alok Sharma has been appointed as full-time president for the COP26 climate talks, resigning in his capacity as UK business secretary.

Kwasi Kwarteng, previously the junior business minister, has been promoted to secretary of state.

The climate change summit is set to take place in Glasgow in November, having been delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report in The Times, Sharma offered his resignation from the cabinet last weekend to be able to focus on the talks.

It followed concerns raised by some MPs that he would not have time to fully dedicate himself to the event if he continued to hold the two roles.

Sharma said: “Through the UK’s presidency of COP26 we have a unique opportunity, working with friends and partners around the world, to deliver on this goal.

“Given the vital importance of tackling climate change I am delighted to have been asked by the Prime Minister to dedicate all my energies to this urgent task.”

The event is expected to attract over 30,000 delegates from around the world, including heads of state, climate experts and campaigners.

It was scheduled to be held at the Scottish Events Campus, which is currently the home of temporary hospital NHS Louisa Jordan.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been appointed as the new junior business minister.

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