Rishi Sunak will not attend the COP27 climate change summit in Egypt, Downing Street has confirmed, as the UK’s new prime minister prioritizes “domestic commitments” ahead of the Autumn Declaration in September next.
His predecessor Liz Truss is expected to attend the summit to be held from 6 to 18 November in Egypt and bring together world leaders in an effort to coordinate united action. about climate change.
The UK, which hosted last year’s meeting in Glasgow, remains the COP president until the upcoming Egyptian team takes over at the start of the summit.
Downing Street said Sunak would not be able to attend because of “urgent domestic commitments”, particularly preparations for the government’s long-awaited debt-cutting plan, originally scheduled for next week. come but now will take place on November 17th.
During Sunak’s first cabinet meeting earlier this week, he outlined efforts to put “economic stability” at the heart of the government’s focus as he confirmed the financial event scheduled for Jan. October 31 will be postponed. It will now be in the form of a Fall Report with a full forecast from the Office of Budget Responsibility.
UK COP President Alok Sharma is expected to lead negotiations in Egypt on behalf of the UK next month although he was removed from the cabinet when Sunak took office as prime minister on Tuesday. Downing Street also confirmed that Graham Stuart, the UK’s climate minister, will lose the right to attend cabinet meetings.
Green groups were disappointed Sunak would not attend the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, although they welcomed his decision earlier this week to rehibilitate shale gas ban that Truss reversed.
The decision not to attend COP27 suggests that “the new prime minister does not take the climate crisis seriously, nor does it recognize[d] Rebecca Newsom, head of politics for Greenpeace UK, said there was an opportunity for Britain to take a leadership role in helping to tackle this issue.
The opposition Labor Party accused the government of “a severe failure in climate leadership”. “We are the host of COP26 and now the UK prime minister doesn’t even bother to join COP27,” said Ed Miliband, secretary for climate change.
He added: “What Rishi Sunak clearly doesn’t understand is that tackling the climate crisis is not just about our reputation and standing abroad, but the opportunity for bills, jobs and lower energy security that it can bring at home.”
Sunak on Thursday speak he spoke with EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, with whom he has “a lot in common, especially the challenges we are facing with the economy and climate change”.
Downing Street stressed the government remained “committed” to its net-zero targets and “led the international and domestic action to tackle climate change”.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The UK will be fully represented by other senior ministers as well as COP president Alok Sharma.
“We will clearly continue to work closely with Egypt as the host country of COP27 and to ensure that all countries are making progress towards the historic commitments they have made. out at the Glasgow climate accord.”