‘I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders’ Alok Sharma reveals huge COP26 pressure

COP26: Alok Sharma on 'tense' nature of negotiations

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Recalling an emotional last day at the Glasgow summit, the COP26 President detailed how he felt mounting pressure to force the hands of 197 nations to sign off on a climate agreement and that the emotions became too much to bear as a deal was finally agreed. It comes as India and China have agreed to “phase-down” but not “phase-out” coal power to combat climate change.

Responding to a question on why Mr Sharma cried following the signing of the deal, he explained that it was the sheer relief of securing an agreement on the climate. 

“For months people have been asking me ‘do you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders’.

“So many people have done so much over two years… This deal was absolutely in jeopardy but we got it over the line”

He explained: “The reason we were able to do this is because of the trust we have built around the world.”

The COP26 president went on to address why he said “sorry” to India and China after he managed to get their signature despite their criticism of the transparency of the climate summit. 

He said: “We spent two years being totally transparent, totally inclusive, but what I was able to do was take the text that was put forward by those two countries, socialise it before taking it for a formal agreement.

“The reason we got this over the line is because they trusted the UK.”

He concluded: “If we had not managed to get this deal done we would have ensured that all of tase developing countries that need support would not have got support.”

More to follow…

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