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COP26 summit chief Alok Sharma denies climate rift in Britain

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“Sometimes People Don’t Consider Conservatives To Be Leading On It,” Alok Sharma

Manchester:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s point for the COP26 climate summit stressed on Tuesday that his own Conservative Party was with an ambition to save the planet.

COP26 president Alok Sharma said that despite murmurings at the party’s right wing at its annual convention, all MPs saw the potential for a green economic revolution.

“Sometimes people don’t consider the Conservatives to be the leaders on this,” the former trade minister said on the sidelines of a conference in Manchester, north-west England.

“Cabinet colleagues really understand why it’s important to get this right,” he said ahead of the two-week COP26 summit starting October 31 in Scotland.

“And we’re seeing the benefits coming in terms of growth, in terms of emissions reductions.”

“This is a real, real opportunity to create jobs, grow, build a healthy country, a healthy planet.”

In his speech closing the Conservative gathering on Wednesday, Johnson is also expected to speak on Britain’s action on climate change and the need for global coordination.

On Tuesday at the convention Touring Exhibitors Stand, Johnson rode an e-bike, got into an electric tractor, and played with a puzzle to assemble a zero-carbon energy home.

But in the gathering of Manchester as a whole, this week the topic of climate change has been put on the backburner.

Sharma was not given a headline speaking slot.

And the issue was absent from Finance Minister Rishi Sunak’s keynote speech on Monday, when he outlined a strategy to recover Britain’s finances after the Covid crisis and focus on tech-led growth.

‘Irresponsible Krusties’

The omission before COP26 in Glasgow was a “damaging sign”, commented Rebecca Newsom, head of policy for Greenpeace UK.

“Spending more cash now for green infrastructure will save huge costs later and create millions of new jobs across the UK,” he said.

“At a time when we need commitments to a zero-carbon future, Sage feels he is preparing to take a big step backwards.”

Nor did Foreign Secretary Liz Truss use the C word – climate – in her own speech on Sunday, save for a fleeting promise to support “greener” growth and “clean infrastructure” in developing countries.

In contrast the B word – Brexit – has been a recurrent theme for representatives of Johnson’s party, adamant that the current problems associated with the EU divorce will end.

Brexit Minister David Frost denounced the “anti-growth ideology” and “persistent debauchery” of the “anti-transport, anti-car” lobby, arguing that human ingenuity and technological innovation will save the day.

Interior Minister Priti Patel used her speech on Tuesday to promise tough police and court action against climate protesters who are blocking UK roads and whom Johnson portrayed as “irresponsible crusty”. has done.

“I will not tolerate so-called environmental warriors trampling our way of life and draining police resources,” she told Tory loyalists to applause.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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