NEW YORK / LONDON | May 22, 2023 ― The Rockefeller Foundation announced today that the Rt Hon Sir Alok Sharma, current Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom and former President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), has joined as Climate and Finance Fellow. In this role, he will support The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to unlock greater and more effective financing to help advance global development and climate action goals.
“With dozens of nations in or near debt distress, hundreds of millions going to bed hungry every night, and a multi-trillion-dollar climate finance gap, I am heartened that Alok Sharma is joining The Rockefeller Foundation team to help accelerate climate and development finance, in part by reimagining the international financial system,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “His international experience, networks, and knowledge will help us continue to make the big bets needed to make opportunity universal in the 21st century.”
Sir Alok will support inclusion in the area of development and climate finance as part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to engage governments, multilateral agencies, and NGO actors in order to help build greater international consensus on reforming the international development finance system. At a time when at least 10 countries are in debt distress and another 27 are at high risk, according to the International Monetary Fund, advancing debt relief measures in low-and middle-income countries is also an important focus of this effort.
“If we are to deliver for the planet, and ultimately our futures, we need to move at pace and that requires turning the billions into the trillions of dollars in finance to deliver a net zero emissions world. This is absolutely essential if humanity is to have any hope of limiting average global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change,” said Sir Alok, who was knighted in King Charles III 2023 New Year’s Honours for services to tackling climate change. “I am therefore pleased to be working with a highly respected organization like The Rockefeller Foundation on the vitally important subject of international financial reform as we seek, with like-minded partners, to build an international consensus that helps to unlock significantly more public and private finance for global climate and development action.”
In 2021 as COP26 President, Sir Alok led the UK’s work in bringing nearly 200 countries together to commit to take action on climate change. Through this effort, he forged the historic Glasgow Climate Pact to keep alive the goal of limiting average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. During this summit, The Rockefeller Foundation, IKEA Foundation, and the Bezos Earth Fund also launched a historic alliance to accelerate clean energy development in low- and middle-income countries as a key solution to curbing greenhouse emissions, while creating economic opportunity for 3.6 billion people worldwide. At the launch, Sir Alok said: “I am delighted that the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet is launching at COP26. By bringing philanthropy, government, investors, and civil society together, the Alliance embodies how international cooperation can drive ambitious climate action and share the benefits of clean growth for all.”
Sir Alok will undertake this new role on an unpaid basis alongside his work as a UK Member of Parliament for Reading West.
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