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Alok Sharma

Alok Sharma takes his Hindu upbringing and English childhood in Reading and combines it to be an international warrior for climate change. He builds connections all over the world in order to make it a better place.

Early Years & Childhood

His parents tried to balance the integration into the new community with a Hindu upbringing for their children. Alok got the inspiration to be a politician from his father, who was chairman of the Berkshire area of Conservatives.

Education

Alok attended Presentation College and Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning as a young student. He then moved on to the University of Salford, from where he graduated with a BSc in Applied Physics with Electronics in 1988.

Work & Politics

For several years, before starting his political career, Alok worked successfully as an accountant.

In 2006 he was selected as the Conservative Party candidate for the Reading West constituency. He was elected as the MP for Reading West in the 2010 general election.

Since then Alok has had several roles in the British government. As the Minister of State for Housing, Sharma was responsible for the Government’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire. He attracted media attention when he was visibly moved while making a statement to the House of Commons on 5 July 2017.

His most recent role is the President of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also referred to as COP26. 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.

“Being business secretary is a fabulous role but the reason I went for this is because there is an opportunity to play a part in bringing about lasting change for the good at an international level.”

 

Some of his responsibilities in this job include: leading preparations for COP26, which was held in Glasgow in November 2021 and chairing the Climate Action Implementation Cabinet Committee to coordinate government action towards net zero by 2050.

Sharma has sought to forge personal relations with smaller island states but also with more influential economies by visiting China and his native country of India – two of the biggest holdouts against an ambitious deal. He has won some praise from delegates for his balanced leadership.

He will stay in this role till November 2022.

“I think the wider point is that even in something that might feel so overwhelming as climate change, we can, each and every one of us, in our own way, make small differences in terms of our daily lives, in terms of tackling climate change.”

Beside his recent work fighting climate change, Alok has worked with local school and parent groups, like All Saints Junior School, The Wren School and Purley Primary School, to deliver extra government funding and ensure that we have much needed extra school places being created.