After claiming he wasn’t going to attend COP27, our new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has finally U-turned and has decided to attend the event. But why the sudden change in heart?
Initially our PM and Downing Street had stated that he was far too busy fixing the mess the cost-of-living crisis had created. Sunak has stated that this is a priority, and that he needed to prepare for the 17th of November’s budget.
Unsurprisingly, this has been met by opposition from climate activists, organisations and Alok Sharma, the UK’s climate advisor.
Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party called it a ‘failure of leadership’ and Greenpeace stated that the Conservative Government was not taking climate change ‘seriously enough’.
Opposition to the decision also came from the Egyptian Government themselves, who claimed that this lack of attendance was a ‘disappointment’.
After receiving this opposition, Sunak held the decision of his attendance under review and quickly changed his mind. The Prime Minister has now stated that:
“[T]here is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change. There is no energy security without investing in renewables. That is why I will attend COP27 next week: to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future.”
The U-turn has received a positive response, although many believe that this should have been his first decision. There is also speculation that Sunak changed his mind after learning that the UK’s former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, would be attending.
The Prime Minister is still standing by his decision to prevent King Charles from attending COP27, and has claimed that it is not the ‘right occasion’.