The UK’s president of COP26 received donations from a tycoon behind a billion-dollar oil drilling and shipping company, an investigation by Byline Times has revealed.
Alok Sharma, who will lead the UN climate summit in Glasgow, received payments amounting to £10,000 from Dr Ravi Kumar Mehrotra, the executive chairman of Foresight Group International.
Foresight Group is a billion-dollar, UK-based global conglomerate with interests in offshore and onshore oil drilling, port and gas infrastructure, and shipping.
It also works closely with partners involved in climate science denial and pro-carbon lobbying, including oil giant ExxonMobil.
The company’s chairman also has links to individuals involved in the Trump-Russia affair.
The funds came in the form of two political donations of £5,000 in January 2020 and £5,000 in June 2017.
Data from the Electoral Commission, revealed by Byline Times, confirms that Dr Mehrotra also made three other donations to the Conservative Party – in November 2019, May 2017 and September 2008 – totalling £10,000.
Earlier this week Sharma said securing a global climate deal in Glasgow will be “really tough”, and could be harder “on lots of levels” than signing the Paris Agreement of 2015.
Countries are under pressure to increase their greenhouse gas emission cuts as the world is far off track to meet globally agreed targets to limit temperature rises and curb dangerous warming.
The Cop26 summit, which starts in Glasgow on October 31, is the effective deadline for countries to bring forward more ambitious national climate plans in a five-year process under the Paris climate treaty.
Mr Sharma told The Guardian: “What we’re trying to do here in Glasgow is actually really tough.
“It was brilliant, what they did in Paris, it was a framework agreement, (but) a lot of the detailed rules were left for the future.
“It’s like we’ve got to the end of the exam paper and the most difficult questions are left and you’re running out of time, the exam’s over in half an hour and you go, ‘how are we going to answer this one?’”
He said “this is definitely harder than Paris on lots of levels” but added: “What we have going for us is that there is an understanding that we need to deal with this (climate crisis).”