No. 10 says Rishi Sunak will not attend the COP27 climate summit. According to No. 10, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will not attend the COP27 climate conference in Egypt next month.
Downing Street denied the prime minister’s lack of commitment to combating climate change.
Liz Truss, Mr. Sunak’s predecessor, was scheduled to attend the conference.
However, No. 10 stated that the new Prime Minister would be unable to attend “due to other pressing domestic commitments, including preparations for the Autumn Budget.”
“We remain committed to net zero and to leading international and domestic action to combat climate change,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said. On net zero, the United Kingdom is well ahead of many other countries.
“Of course, we will continue to work closely with Egypt as the COP27 hosts to ensure that all countries are making progress on the historic commitments they made at the Glasgow climate pact.”
She went on to say that the United Kingdom would be “fully represented by other senior ministers,” including current COP president Alok Sharma.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the BBC on Wednesday that he would like to see both the Prime Minister and King Charles present. It now appears that neither will be present.
Given that the UK government was not only the host of COP26 but also the driving force behind its limited successes, the absence of a major political figure is unusual.
While Alok Sharma, the outgoing COP president, will be present, he does not have the same status as a prime minister or monarch.
The Egyptian organizers are likely to be enraged by this turn of events, and it does not bode well for the conference if the leaders of one of the world’s leading lights in climate action are unable to prioritize travel to the gathering.
Last month, the Truss government announced a review of the UK’s target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore has been charged with leading the review “with a focus on ensuring the UK’s fight against climate change maximises economic growth while increasing energy security and affordability for consumers and businesses.”
The previous COP summit, held in Glasgow, was attended by then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mr. Sunak, who was chancellor at the time.
Over 200 governments have been invited to attend COP27. However, some major economic leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, are not expected to attend.
US Vice President Joe Biden plans to attend, but China has yet to confirm whether its leaders will attend.
Buckingham Palace confirmed earlier this month that King Charles would not be attending the conference.
The monarch has long had an interest in environmental issues, but the Palace stated that it had sought advice from then-Prime Minister Ms Truss and that “with mutual friendship and respect, there was agreement that the King would not attend.”