|Born||7 September 1967|
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Alma mater||University of Salford|
|Member of||UK Vaccine Task Force|
Alok Sharma is a British politician serving as President of COP26 and Minister of State at the Cabinet Office since 2021. Sharma resigned his previous position as Secretary of State for Business in order to lead COP26. Sharma retains full Cabinet status. Sharma has been the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Reading West since 2010.
Sharma served in Prime Minister Theresa May's government as Minister of State for Housing from 2017 to 2018 and as Minister of State for Employment from 2018 to 2019. In 2019, he was appointed to the Cabinet by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as Secretary of State for International Development. He was promoted to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the 2020 cabinet reshuffle, an office in which he served until 2021.
President for COP26
In addition to his appointment as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 13 February 2020, Sharma was also appointed President of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), following the dismissal of Claire Perry O'Neill in January 2020. At that time COP26 was planned for November 2020; in May 2020 it was rearranged for November 2021.
On 8 January 2021, Sharma left his position as Secretary of State to become President of COP26 on a full-time basis, and chair of the Climate Action Implementation Committee. He moved to the Cabinet Office and retained his status as a full member of the cabinet. Sharma formally serves as a Minister of State, in the Cabinet Office.
Between January and July 2021 Alok Sharma flew 200,000 miles to 30 countries for meetings as president; this included six red list countries, but he did not have to isolate after any of the journeys as he was exempt from COVID-19 isolation rules as a "crown servant".
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