What is the thinking behind Alok Sharma’s bid to be the United Nations’ global warming chief?

According to The Guardian, “No-drama Sharma” has been approached about taking over from Patrica Espinosa as the outgoing Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Despite his “boring” persona and lukewarm approval within the Conservative Party, Sharma is being touted by sources as a worthy replacement for Espinosa. The Cabinet Office minister was responsible for leading last November’s climate conference in Glasgow, where world leaders agreed to reduce global temperatures by 1.5C.

Yet it’s possible there are other forces at play in Sharma’s bid.

After all, he is one of a handful of ministers projected to lose their seat at the next general election, according to analysis by campaign group 38 Degrees.

Sharma’s Reading West constituency has a majority of just 4,117 over Labour and his recent defence of the Prime Minister during Monday’s no-confidence vote has raised concerns that the electorate will vote him out.

A role as the UN’s top green official – which pays Espinosa around $200,000 a year – alongside his current shareholding in Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, would help secure his financial future should he choose to quit as an MP.

As political scientist Robert Ford pointed out: “Could one consequence of persistent unpopularity be the departure of MPs in marginal seats seeking opportunities elsewhere rather than going down with the ship?”