Downing Street confirmed that Rishi Sunak won’t be attending the COP27 climate summit next month in Egypt.
A spokesperson for Number 10 stated that the prime minister has “other pressing domestic obligations” that will prevent him attending Sharm El Sheikh’s climate conference. However, Mr Sunak is “absolutely committed to” supporting the event.
Liz Truss (the predecessor to Mr Sunak) was expected to attend UN climate conference in Egypt which runs from 6-18 Nov.
The spokeswoman stated that the prime minister was not expected to attend COP27 because of other pressing domestic commitments, including preparations for autumn budget.
“The UK will be represented fully by Alok Sharma, the COP President,”
A spokesperson also denied that Sunak’s decision to not attend COP27 indicated a lower priority for climate change by the new administration.
While forming his new ministerial top-team, the PM downgraded Mr Sharma’s position so that he won’t be attending cabinet meetings.
Graham Stuart, climate minister, was reappointed to his position but will no longer be able to attend top team discussions.
According to the spokesperson for Number 10, “We remain committed towards net zero and to leading domestic and international action to combat climate change.” Net zero is a goal that the UK surpasses many other countries.
“We will continue to work closely alongside Egypt as hosts of COP27, and to ensure that all countries make progress on the historic promises they made at the Glasgow Climate pact.”
Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow climate secretary, said that it was a mistake for Mr Sunak to not attend the climate change summit next year.
It’s not leadership. Sky News: “It is abdicating leadership to not go to COP27.”
“We were president of COP26, and those watching are thinking that climate is important but that there are other issues. If we focus too hard on clean energy, it won’t be right for our climate commitments.
It’s right to cut energy bills, as renewables are the cheapest source for power. It is right for energy security. It is right for jobs.
“So, this isn’t just wrong for climate reasons, it’s also wrong when it comes energy bills, security, and employment.”
Sir Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat leader, said that Mr Sunak’s actions were “fly in face of the UK’s proud record of leading global efforts against climate change”.
Reporters were told by the Egyptians’ lead negotiator that the UK had “showed leadership in Glasgow”, where it hosted the COP26 climate summit last year.
In response to Sky News’ question, ambassador Mohamed Nasr stated that “we know there are challenges, economic problems facing the UK and other nations, but that we hope those challenges don’t lead to backsliding in the pledges.”
He said that Egypt “still [hopes]]” King Charles will attend the Sharm El-Sheikh negotiations this year. The monarch, an environmentalist of long standing, pulled out earlier this month from the talks after consultation with Ms Truss, the then prime minister.
The diplomat stated that the invitation was “still there, and it’s an open invite.”
A minister in government has insisted that King Abdullah has not been barred from attending the COP27 climate summit.
America urges King Charles in Egypt to attend COP27
Sky News has been told by John Kerry, America’s special envoy for climate change, that it would be very powerful if King Charles could attend COP27 UN climate conference.
These comments by Mr Kerry come just as Prime Minister Rishi Sonak declared that he will not be going.
It was reported earlier this month that Liz Truss asked the new monarch to not go, despite being invited.
Kerry stated in an interview that he thought it would be a great idea personally.
“I know that his presence there would make an impact… because of his credibility as a leader who has been around for a while.
“I believe it would be very strong.”
The UN warned that there is a danger of catastrophic temperature rises if nothing is done.
Kerry stated that the situation was alarming. “Right now (nearly), every government is off course… all 20 largest economies in the world, which account for 80% of all emissions, are not on target at the moment.
“Can they achieve their target?” If they implement all of the plans they have made or a few, if Sharm El-Sheikh steps up and increases their ambitions, as the Glasgow agreement requires.
When asked if America’s record oil exports have affected its credibility on climate change, the answer was: “We’re trying stop-gap.”
“Those are the countries that have high fuel costs as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“So, clearly, that disrupted their supply of fuel to keep the economy moving and their homes heated and lit.
“None of our suggestions are that you crash the economies around the globe.
“We don’t have to do this. It is possible to have a smooth and orderly transition. This is what we are trying to achieve.
According to the International Energy Agency, the energy crisis could lead to an acceleration of the green revolution.
However, Shell reported a near-record profit on Thursday due to high oil and natural gas prices.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, has asked that fossil fuel companies around the globe make payments to the most affected by the climate crisis.
Kerry was asked if America supported that idea and he replied: “President Biden believes very strongly that fairness is essential in this transition.
“There must be just transition, and it’s important that we try to find a way for us to reflect what’s happening in the price of carbon and to be fair with citizens around the globe who’ve been under pressure.
“I believe the US is open-minded to ideas that allow justice to be done in transition so that citizens of other countries don’t get unfairly squeezed.
“The American position is to look at all the information that’s being presented and have a discussion about justice and fairness.”
COP27 will focus on the issue of who pays for the climate change-related damage.
Many nations are facing rising costs that exceed the tens billions, and they claim they cannot afford to pay them.
The world leaders made a number of climate promises at COP26 , culminating in an agreement that will increase emissions-cutting targets by 2030 by the end next year.
The Glasgow climate summit, which lasted two weeks, reached crucial agreements last year.
Mr Sunak called Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi on Thursday to praise his counterpart for his “leadership in combating climate change.”
A spokesperson for Downing Street said that Modi was praised by the prime minister for his leadership in tackling climate change.
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