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12 May 2022

Sharma: Media Has Critical Role To Play In Helping To Tackle Climate Change

The influential British media has a critical role to play in helping to tackle climate change by raising awareness of the issue and holding power to account COP26 president  Alok Sharma MP told the Society of Editors conference this week.

Delivering the keynote address at the Future of News conference on Wednesday, Mr Sharma said it was vital for journalists to hold politicians and business leaders across the world to account over their pledges to tackle climate change.

Addressing editors and journalists, he said that “the world has agreed what it needs to do” and the task now was to deliver. “And to achieve that, we need you to do what you do best, and hold governments and businesses to account,” he added.  

“The British media has significant international clout. Editorials written here are read with keen interest in capitals around the globe. You help focus the eyes of the world on those in positions of responsibility, to scrutinise whether or not they deliver on their commitments.

“And if they do not, you have the tools to hold them to account. We also need you to help people understand the reality of climate impacts. And help them make informed choices. And of course, we need you to interrogate objectively the benefits of the move to clean economies.

The chronic threat of climate change will increasingly be the biggest story of the twenty-first century, Mr Sharma added. “I would argue it will ultimately be the biggest story in many of our lifetimes.

"And we need you to tell it. And we need you to shape it. By continuing to do what you do best. Speak truth to power. Report on the reality of the world around us. These are the finest qualities of the British press. So whatever the future of news, they must endure."