Alok Sharma, Climate summit president, makes clear UK net zero agenda is responsibility of all government colleagues

Tackling the climate crisis must be a whole government effort or risk the Cop26 climate summit becoming “just a bunch of meaningless promises”, the cabinet minister who chaired the UN summit has said.

Alok Sharma, who acted as president for Cop26 in November, made clear that all of his colleagues must bear a joint responsibility for the UK’s net zero agenda, and that the international community viewed continued UK efforts as vital.

“Given that people do see that the UK has shown a great deal of international leadership when it comes to climate, it’s important we maintain that focus across the whole of the UK government,” he told the Guardian in an interview. “When it comes to domestic policy, it’s vital that every country – including the UK – focuses on delivery.”

Without a focus on net zero from the government, there was a danger that the progress made in Glasgow would be undermined, said Sharma.

“What people will judge us on, as they will also judge other governments on, is delivery [on climate goals],” said Sharma. “The key issue is to show that countries are delivering on [their Cop26] commitments and they are not wavering. That is what is going to give confidence to parties [to the Paris agreement], the climate vulnerable countries, to civil society, but globally as well, that we are making progress on promises – that it’s not just a bunch of meaningless promises, that there is real commitment to deliver them as well.” Click here to read more

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