'When the Royal Family speaks on climate change people listen', says Alok Sharma

The Royal Family were out in number to meet with world leaders at the G7 earlier this year. Credit: PA

The UK's President for COP26 has told ITV News the Royal Family "undoubtedly" helps in the effort to get countries to take more action to tackle the climate crisis.

Asked if foreign leaders and ministers pay attention to warnings about the environment from the Royals, Alok Sharma said: "Absolutely... when members of the Royal Family speak, yes people do listen.

"So, I'm really pleased that the Royal family is with us in this fight in tackling climate change."

Speaking to ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana as the UN climate summit in Glasgow gets underway today, the MP said the Queen was "willing us on" despite her absence.

"When Prince Charles, Prince William and others speak - yes, people do notice," Alok Sharma tells ITV News

The 95-year-old had been due to attend COP26 on Monday, but pulled out of the engagement following advice to rest and has instead pre-recorded a video message to play at the conference.

Since that initial guidance, medics have extended their advised period of rest for the monarch who is now on "light duties" for at least the next two weeks.

The Prince of Wales will give the opening address at the summit in Glasgow, and has already warned world leaders heading to COP26 that action is expected of them.

Mr Sharma described Charles as "someone who has championed green issues over the course of a lifetime."

"He is someone who is absolutely committed and focused on sustainable growth," added the MP.

He said that "all voices are really important in terms of getting people to raise their game" in the climate fight but "there's no doubt" that when the Royals speak, they yield great influence.

"Of course, when he [Charles], Prince William and others speak, yes, people do notice," he added.

Earlier this month the heir to the throne shared his "pride" at son, William, after the launch of his first Earthshot climate change awards.

The nation of Costa Rica and a pair of coral growers were among the winners to take home £1 million each in the ambitious environmental prize, which aims to find solutions to repair the planet.

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