THE first woman to lead a major bank in the UK is set to receive an honorary degree at the start of the COP26 climate conference.

Alison Rose, who studied at Durham University, is picking up another degree, as she stops off on her way to the climate change summit in Glasgow.

She is the chief executive of NatWest, which is a principal partner of the summit.

Ms Rose was appointed to the job in November 2019, becoming the first woman to lead one of the UK’s big four banks.

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She joined NatWest as a graduate in 1992, having studied History at St Aidan’s College, Durham University.

She will be made an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law during a ceremony on Monday, November 1.

Professor Antony Long, acting vice-chancellor of Durham University, said: “Alison is a distinguished example of how Durham University graduates go on to enjoy inspiring careers and make a significant, lasting impact around the globe.

“We’re thrilled to be honouring Alison as COP26 commences, as we share Alison’s and her team’s deep commitment to ensuring a more sustainable future for everyone. We look forward to welcoming her back to Durham, and I’m sure that our students, staff, and our graduates will be inspired by her story.”

The Northern Echo:

Ms Rose said: “It is incredibly humbling to be awarded this honour. My time here (at Durham) taught me about the power of getting people to work together, and I owe a huge amount to my experiences at Durham.

“Climate change is the biggest single issue we will face in our lifetimes, and tackling it is likely to be a lifetime’s work. Every part of our economy needs to be turned in a greener direction and it will take patience, determination and collaboration.

"The type of leadership I learnt at Durham University – determined, thoughtful, resilient – has framed my career and fuelled my desire to contribute to a green, sustainable economy, and the qualities that Durham teaches its students can be a real asset in that effort.”

During her visit to Durham, she will also hold a roundtable discussion with leading climate change researchers at the university and give a special guest lecture to staff, students and alumni around the world, hosted by Durham University Business School, titled ‘Entrepreneurship and the Green Economy’.

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