Minister responsible for climate conference travelled mainly during winter and spring and did not isolate
The government minister responsible for this year’s UN climate change conference in Glasgow has flown to 30 countries in the past seven months, it has been reported.
Alok Sharma, who was appointed as president of Cop26 in January, has visited countries including Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya since February, according to the Daily Mail.
Most of his journeys were during the winter and spring months at the start of the year when international travel from Britain was largely banned.
He visited India in March, as well as Costa Rica, Qatar and the UAE. April saw trips to the Far East, before he travelled to Bangladesh in June.
Not all of the 30 known journeys were return flights to the UK, as Sharma has visited a group of countries on one trip. However, travel to and from all the destinations Sharma has visited would stretch to 200,000 miles – eight times around the Earth.
The aviation industry produced 915m tonnes of CO2 in 2019, equivalent to 2% of all human-made CO2 emissions.
Sharma did not have to isolate after any of the journeys, despite six being on the government’s “red list” for travel as he was exempt as a “crown servant”.
The UK is hosting the delayed climate change conference Cop26 in Glasgow in October and November. It is the first time since the Paris Climate Change conference in 2015 that countries will set new ambitions for targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Green party peer Jenny Jones criticised the former business minster, saying: “‘I do understand it’s very good to meet people in person, but this is excessive.