Reshuffle: Climate fight must trump corporate interests

Thursday, 13 February, 2020

Reacting to the appointment of Anne-Marie Trevelyan as international development secretary, and of Alok Sharma as president of the COP26 climate talks, Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now said:

“A sixth development secretary in five years speaks volumes about the government’s lack of interest in fighting global poverty. Anne-Marie Trevelyan will have her work cut out to ensure that the department even survives the chop later in the year, and to resist Downing Street's increasing attempts to hijack the aid budget for the benefit of British business – as anyone committed to the department’s mission should do. 2020 is a massive year for climate change and post-Brexit trade deals, and DFID could play a vital role in ensuring that the government gets its priorities the right way round. That means putting the future of the entire world ahead of the petty obsessions of a few ideologues in the Westminster bubble.

“Alok Sharma must get his chairing of the COP26 climate talks off to a good start by insisting that the UK gets is own house in order. Just last month Boris Johnson tried to pass off a summit featuring billions of pounds of new fossil fuel deals as a moment of climate progress. This kind of bluster must end. Sharma can start by ensuring his old department, DFID, ends all UK aid funding for fossil fuel projects overseas, including via its little-known private investment bank the CDC group. As the climate emergency intensifies, there can be no excuse for continuing government support for the fossil fuel industry, at home or abroad.”


Photo: Alok Sharma (left) and Anne-Marie Trevelyan (right). Credits: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Flickr, Number 10/Flickr