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‘Air miles Alok’: MPs blast COP26 president for jet-setting around the world

The Sunday Telegraph

Minister who has repeatedly urged Britons to cut their carbon footprint accused of hypocrisy over flying to 19 countries in three months

The minister in charge of a major United Nations climate change conference this year has been criticised for travelling tens of thousands of miles while urging people to reduce their carbon footprint.

Alok Sharma, the former Business Secretary, has been criticised for failing to lead by example since taking on a full-time role in January overseeing the climate summit.

One MP dubbed him “air miles Alok” and questioned why he could not have organised more virtual meetings over the internet.

Mr Sharma has repeatedly urged Britons to cut their carbon footprints and in a speech on May 14 said: “If we do not act now, we will witness a global catastrophe the likes of which the world has never seen.”

In an interview on Earth Day last month, he told a tabloid newspaper: “Even small changes in the way we go about our day-to-day lives can make a difference in cutting our carbon emissions.”

However, analysis by The Telegraph found that Mr Sharma, the president of COP26, took 25 flights in three months, travelling up to 73,853 miles between Jan 31 and May 12.

The trips saw him fly to 19 countries, including a 17-hour flight to Costa Rica, an 11-hour flight to Japan, and two return trips to Africa within a fortnight.

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