COP28 has now begun, but which members of our Government will attend the event?

Graham Stuart MP

Firstly, the UK is being represented by Graham Stuart MP, the Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. He has only held this position since the 7th of February 2023, previously he was the Minister of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Many are worried about Stuart’s stance towards phasing out high emitting oil and gas projects as last month (November 2023) he claimed:


“We want to get the maximum ambition but what you’ve got to
remember here is that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with oil and gas
– it is the emissions from that which are the critical point.
What we want to see the removal of is the emissions of oil and gas
to the maximum extent possible.”

Conservative and Labour

Leaders from both the Conservative and Labour Parties have arrived in Dubai for COP28.

In regards to Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, he will engage with the event in a way that will:

“set the tone and show political will”.

The PM is said to be willing to show the UK’s determination to combat climate change to the other attendees, which includes other countries’ governments. This is incredibly important for the UK’s standing as a leader in the transition to a cleaner world, especially after this year the PM redacted his promises with his U-turns on domestic climate pledges.

The Prime Minister has claimed that there are five points that will be priorities for the UK during COP28:

  1. To keep the global temperature increase to below 1.5ᴼC to limit the effects and impacts of climate change.
  2. The creation of an agenda concerning global adaptation, this includes providing finance to those that are in areas that are at the most risk from climate change.
  3. The UK wishes to increase its green finance and show it commitment to a sustainable future. To do this, by 2025, the UK will set aside $100 billion each year that will fund green projects.
  4. The Santiago Network: Once set up, this network will form many partnerships between several networks, bodies, experts, and organisations. The aim of this network is to help those in developing countries who are being affected the most by climate change and its impacts.
  5. Nature must be embedded into all of the UK Government’s priorities.

According to reports the UK’s Prime Minister is only set to stay at the COP28 conferences for 11 hours.

Keir Starmer, however, is hoping to show his green credentials, as the Labour leader has a number of meetings with partners from countries around the world. Although he will not be involved in any of the UK Government meetings.

A senior Labour Party member stated that:


“[Starmer] wants to see Britain back on the world stage
as a leader on global issues – including climate”.

King Charles III

King Charles III has always shown his passion for protecting the planet and on the 1st of December 2023, he  addressed those at the COP28 summit and stated that:

“I pray with all my heart that COP28 will be
another critical turning point towards genuine transformational action at a time when, already,
as scientists have been warning for so long,
we are seeing alarming tipping points
being reached.”

He also urged those that attended to do more to mitigate against climate change and claimed that:


“Unless we rapidly repair and restore nature’s economy, based on harmony and balance,
which is our ultimate sustainer, our own
economy and survivability will be imperilled.”

For further information and up to date news on COP28 and its themes, please see our
COP28 Focus homepage
where you can access
all of our guides, news, and reports from the event.