UK prime minister criticised for missing COP27 climate summit

Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been accused of “a failure of leadership” for not attending the COP27 climate summit next month.

Opposition parties and environmental groups claimed the decision showed the government was not taking the climate crisis seriously enough. Downing Street said the PM had “other pressing domestic commitments including preparations for the autumn Budget”.

“As the newly anointed head of a G20 nation, there can be no excuses for Rishi Sunak not attending COP27 in Egypt,” said Hugh Blaza, senior consultant at Sandstone Law.

“The leading countries of the world have to set an example in adopting and furthering the Paris treaty. The world is teetering on the brink of disaster as achieving the 1.5 degree target seems to be looking increasingly unlikely.

“Of course, the UK is by no means alone in not coming up with the goods. And with the Courts ruling that the government’s net zero carbon strategy is unlawful, there is a lot of ground to recover. But the UK Government has spent the last four months embroiled in internal wrangling. The result of all this is that the electorate hasn’t been given the opportunity to review all of the parties’ manifestos, and so no-one has the foggiest idea what Government policy will be on environmental, or many other issues, let alone vote on them! Frack or no frack, anyone? Solar or gas? Wind or coal?  It may actually not be that surprising that Sunak won’t attend; what would he have to say..? The time for glib platitudes is over.

“And time is running out. Never has there been a moment where clarity and commitment are needed. We can but hope that the partially defenestrated Alok Sharma (freed, perhaps, from cabinet responsibility) will be able to adopt the commitments required of the first world countries. Whether this Government will commit to them and implement them is, of course, another matter.”

UK environment secretary Therese Coffey told the BBC she was planning to attend along with the outgoing Alok Sharma, who was president of last year’s COP in the UK. Ms Coffey said the “big political moments” tended to happen at the conference every five years – such as last year’s summit in Glasgow – and that this year’s conference would be more about implementation.

She insisted that protecting the planet “is absolutely a priority for the government,” adding: “We remain committed to net zero and to leading international and domestic action to tackle climate change. The UK is forging ahead of many other countries on net zero. The UK continues to show global leadership as opposed to just a gathering of people in Egypt.”

The annual UN climate summits are designed to help governments agree steps to limit global temperature rises. The UK hosted last year’s summit, COP26, in Glasgow and was attended by then-PM Boris Johnson.

The summit in Egypt is expected to focus on three main areas – reducing emissions, helping countries prepare for and deal with climate change, and securing technical support for developing countries for these activities.

Related Posts
Others have also viewed

Meet the trailblazing women collaborating to save the ocean and increase gender diversity in STEM

In Mauritius, Scotland, Manchester, London, and Australia a group of award-winning women scientists and experts ...

STUDY: UK transport and logistics industry faces sustainability gap admist AI adoption

HERE Technologies, the leading location data and technology platform, today unveiled insights from its latest ...

Einride, Mars partner for Europe’s biggest road freight electrification in FMCG industry

Einride, a freight mobility company that provides digital, electric and autonomous technology, has partnered with ...

BCG and Climeworks sign historic 15-Year carbon removal agreement

Climeworks, a global leader in carbon removal via direct air capture technology, and Boston Consulting ...