UK Government Defends Climate Minister’s World Tour Without Quarantine


The British government has rejected criticism of the quarantine exemption given to climate minister Alok Sharma, saying that face-to-face talks with foreign leaders are the “key to success” in climate negotiations.

NS Daily mail Sharma has traveled tens of thousands of miles to at least 30 foreign destinations in the past seven months in preparation for the COP26 Climate Conference, but has visited seven countries on the UK’s COVID-19 Red List. Nevertheless, he reported that he did not need to be quarantined when he returned to Japan. .. “

In response to this report, a government spokesman said: “Helping the world tackle climate emergencies is an international priority of government.

“While virtual conferences play a major role, face-to-face conferences are key to the success of UK-led climate negotiations as the organizer of COP26, directly addressing the opportunities and challenges other countries face in the fight. Important to understand. Against climate change. “

But David Ramie, the main shadow attorney general of the opposition Labor Party, told LBC Radio that Sharma’s lack of self-isolation was “strange and dangerous” and “extremely worried.”

“The optics are very clear. It’s one rule for them and another for us,” he told Sky News.

“Of course, I need some travel abroad, but this amount of travel abroad when you are the Minister of Climate Change feels strange to me and does not set an example.”

Liberal Democratic Party spokeswoman Sarah Olney has accused Sharma of treating flexible rules for crown servants as “no jailbreak” cards.

“As always in this government, it’s a rule for them, a rule for everyone else,” she said.

“Alok Sharma has redlisted abandoned countries, but hard-working families rarely see loved ones or plan vacations because the government has changed hoof travel rules. No. People are fed up with the government giving them a free pass to escape from prison, but the rest of us stick to the rules. “

Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said the minister’s actions “really undermine the efforts we know that everyone has to do.”

“We are all used to meeting people from different parts of the world without having to travel around the world,” he told Sky News.

Baroness Jones, a member of the Greens, also said Sharma’s overseas travel was “excessive.”

“It’s hypocritical to take so many flights when you’re in charge of COP26,” she said.

Sharma is currently in Brazil and is meeting with state and business leaders to promise zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Under UK COVID-19 regulations, ministers making important trips are exempt from quarantine regardless of national circumstances.

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan