Alok Sharma, COP26 President
Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma as COP26 President in February 2020.
As former Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, Mr Sharma’s experience in international diplomacy will be key in driving ambitious climate action from countries attending COP26 President.
He was previously Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions from January 2018 until July 2019, and Minister of State for Housing and Planning for the Department for Communities and Local Government from June 2017 to January 2018.
Prior to entering Parliament, he qualified as a chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte, and then worked for 16 years in banking.
Peter Hill, COP26 CEO
In September 2019 Peter was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
He was previously Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Sherpa for the G7 and G20 between May 2017 and September 2019. Immediately prior to this he was Director of Strategy at the FCO.
His previous roles have been in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office. In 2009-2010 he worked at the independent Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq conflict. Between 2006-2009 he was in the cabinet of the European Trade Commissioner. He has also worked on a range of security and multilateral issues in the FCO and overseas.
Nigel Topping, COP26 High Level Champion
Nigel Topping was appointed by the UK Government as its High Level Climate Action Champion in January 2020.
His role involves driving action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change and coordinating this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Champion role was created in 2015 at the climate talks in Paris to help realise ambitions to lower carbon emissions and build resilience to climate change. It is held for two years, and Mr Topping is working alongside the Chilean COP25 High Level Climate Action Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz.
Mr Topping was most recently CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. He brings valuable expertise from 18 years in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing.
John Murton, COP26 Envoy
Dr John Murton is the UK government’s COP26 Envoy. He has previously served as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo from 2017 to 2019. Prior to this role, he was Deputy High Commissioner at the British High Commission in Nairobi and also served as the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Kenya, the UK’s High Commissioner to Mauritius and Ambassador to Madagascar.
John has previously served in Japan, at NATO Headquarters and at the UK’s Foreign Ministry in London. His most recent role prior to Nairobi was as Head of the Foreign Ministry department dealing with the UK’s relations with East and South East Asia and Australasia.
Mark Carney, The Prime Minister’s Finance Adviser for COP26
Mark Carney is currently the Prime Minister’s Finance Adviser for COP26 and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.
Mark was previously Governor of the Bank of England (from 2013 to 2020), and Governor of the Bank of Canada (from 2008 to 2013). Internationally, Mark was Chair of the Financial Stability Board (from 2011 to 2018), Chair of the Global Economy Meeting and Economic Consultative Committee of the Bank for International Settlements (from 2018-2020), and was First Vice-Chair of the European Systemic Risk Board (from 2013-2020).
He is Vice Chair of Brookfield Asset Management and a member of the Global Advisory Board of PIMCO, the Group of Thirty, the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, as well as the boards of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Hoffman Institute for Global Business and Society at INSEAD.
Nick Bridge, Special Representative for Climate Change
The Foreign Secretary appointed Nick Bridge as Special Representative for Climate Change in May 2017.
Nick was previously Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the OECD from 2011 to 2016. He served as Chief Economist at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Head of Global Economy Department. He has served for over a decade in diplomatic postings to China, Japan and the United States.
Nick formerly worked in the Treasury, where he co-led a $4 billion facility to immunize half a billion people in the developing world, and was an economist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Archie Young, UK Lead Climate Negotiator
Archie has been the UK’s Lead Climate Negotiator since 2016, overseeing climate negotiations in the UNFCCC, EU, G7 and G20.
He has a background in both international and domestic policy. Previous roles include co-Director International Climate & Energy; Deputy Director Americas & Head of South America Department in the UK’s Foreign Office; Head of Delivery in the Department of Energy & Climate Change; and Deputy Director for Business, Environment and the Olympics in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.
COP26 Regional Ambassadors
The UK has appointed four senior diplomats as dedicated COP26 Regional Ambassadors.
The COP26 Regional Ambassadors will build our international engagement ahead of COP26, and will each focus on a different geographic region of the world, bringing to bear their diplomatic expertise to support preparations for a successful COP26.