The United Kingdom still has a lot of work to do at COP26, and Alok Sharma must be in charge of it.


Alok Sharma must be in charge of the UK’s COP26 work.

Boris Johnson appears to be making climate change a centerpiece of his premiership.

Here’s a prediction: the next twelve months could be the most pivotal in human history.

This decade will determine whether the world can bring global warming under control, preventing it from escalating to the point where it threatens civilisation, by almost universal agreement.

Despite being more successful than expected, COP26 failed to keep global warming below the 1.5 degree Celsius danger level.

So nations decided to try again next November, and the intervening year will be crucial because they will adopt new targets before, not at, the next COP.

The outcome will be largely determined by Britain, as its task of persuading the rest of the world to act began in Glasgow rather than ending there.

It will hold the formal Presidency of international negotiations until November 8, 2022, when it will hand it over to the hosts of COP27, Egypt.

Governments haven’t always made the most of this time.

Following that, the brilliant French diplomatic effort that resulted in the 2015 Paris agreement fizzled out.

But things could be different this time.

Alok Sharma, the COP’s widely praised head, has pledged to “press” for action “during our Presidency year.”

Boris Johnson is becoming increasingly aware of the opportunity that this presents.

He appears set to make climate change a defining issue of his premiership, having been converted from skepticism by Chief Scientist Sir Patrick Vallance (rather than his environmentalist wife and father).

Munira Mirza, the head of his policy unit, appears to be of the same mind.

The PM sees it as a way to achieve his stated goals of “levelling up” (since decarbonization would bring jobs to Red Wall seats in particular) and promoting “global Britain.”

And he’s got a lot of support from his cabinet.

Sajid Javid, Grant Shapps, and Anne-Marie Trevelyan – another former skeptic who once referred to climate activists as “fanatics” – are among the most vocal supporters at meetings.

Rishi Sunak is the main stumbling block, despite his friends’ claims that he is enthusiastic about green technology and wants businesses, not the government, to pay for it.

The powerful, but independent, Committee on Climate Change is currently preparing recommendations for how the United Kingdom should use its Presidency, which will be released before Christmas.

The most important goal is to persuade countries to improve their emission reduction targets in order to meet the 1.5°C target.

UK news summary from Infosurhoy.

Alok Sharma must be in charge of the UK’s COP26 work.

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The UK has a lot of COP26 work left to do, and Alok Sharma must be in charge of it

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