The conference, known as COP26, is to be held in Glasgow.
The move comes as Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng was appointed to take over from Sharma as UK secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, the prime minister’s office said.
“To meet the high ambitions for the summit in the year of COP26, Alok Sharma will solely focus on driving forward coordinated global action to tackle climate change,” the PM’s office said in a statement. “A successful summit in November will be critical if we want to meet the objectives set out by the Paris Agreement and reduce global emissions.”
In his role as COP26 president, Sharma will continue operating as a full member of the Cabinet and will chair the Climate Action Implementation Committee to coordinate government action towards net-zero emissions by 2050 in the run up to COP26.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan will become minister of state for business, energy and clean growth, taking forward UK climate and energy policy, including implementing plans in the prime minister’s “Ten-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” announced in November.
Trevelyan will also continue in her role as UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency, supporting countries vulnerable to climate change to adapt to its impacts and build resilience.
In the 10-point plan, the UK said it aims to mobilize GBP12 billion ($16 billion) of government investment, and potentially a much larger sum from the private sector, to support development of offshore wind, hydrogen, nuclear energy, green transport and buildings and carbon capture and storage technologies.
The Paris Agreement’s goal is to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels by 2100 and to aim for no more than 1.5 degrees C. The treaty is part of the wider UN Framework Convention on Climate Change framework whose stated goal is to limit the atmospheric build-up of greenhouse gas emissions at a level that avoids dangerous anthropogenic interference with the planet’s climate system.