UK: PM Rishi Sunak will not attend COP27 climate summit to focus on domestic issues

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On Thursday, the office of the new United Kingdom prime minister, Rishi Sunak announced that he will not be attending the upcoming United Nations COP27 climate summit in Egypt. The decision was made because of “pressing domestic commitments” said the No. 10 Downing Street.  

The current PM took office on Tuesday after his predecessor Liz Truss resigned. Reports suggest that she was due to attend the summit this year. However, the Downing Street spokesperson said that the UK will be represented by the country’s COP president Alok Sharma who will be joined by other ministers. 

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She added, “We will obviously continue to work closely with Egypt as the hosts of COP27 and to make sure that all countries are making progress on the historic commitments they made at the Glasgow climate pact.” 

The annual UN climate summit was hosted by Britain last year in Glasgow, Scotland which Sunak had attended as the Chancellor of the Exchequer when Boris Johnson was the prime minister of the UK. This year Sunak will not be attending due to “other pressing domestic commitments including preparations for the autumn Budget.” As the UK PM has pushed the announcement of the financial statement from late October to November 17. 

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The COP27 is set to take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt this year between November 6 to November 18 where governments from over 200 countries will gather to discuss how to tackle climate change. The Downing Street spokesperson also reaffirmed the country’s commitment “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.” 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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