Rishi Sunak Criticised For Skipping COP27 Climate Summit

Rishi Sunak Criticised For Skipping COP27 Climate Summit

The new British administration stated on Thursday that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would not be attending a major United Nations climate summit in November.

Office of Sunak stated that the decision was made due to “important domestic duties,” such as preparing for an emergency budget on November 17. The statement claims that the Conservative government’s lack of interest in climate change policy is not a reflection of his absence. We expect senior ministers from other UK government agencies to attend.

Earlier this week, Sunak took over for former president Liz Truss, who resigned after only seven weeks in office due to political and economic discontent caused by her tax-cutting initiatives (UKX, -0.48%).

Truss intended to go to COP26, which was held in Glasgow, Scotland, last year because it was hosted by the United Kingdom and her predecessor, Boris Johnson, was a leader at the conference. With the Paris Agreement of 2015 establishing a voluntary but recommended target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, the importance of these gatherings has grown.

Rishi Sunak Criticised For Skipping COP27 Climate Summit

The meeting, also known as COP27, will begin on November 6 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and will bring together delegates from almost 200 countries to debate strategies to prevent global warming.

A Sunak spokesman told the Associated Press that Britain will continue to “lead international and domestic efforts to tackle climate change” and will reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Sunak made “a catastrophic judgement,” as Ed Miliband of the opposition Labour Party put it.

He told the BBC that these meetings are very important. They’re pushing the international community to solve the largest issue facing humanity.

This choice came at the same time that three new, alarming findings from the United Nations’ climate agency were given to the meeting. One of them, released on Thursday, sounded the alarm that the world is moving too slowly to transition away from fossil fuels, especially wealthy countries like Britain and the United States.

Rishi Sunak Criticised For Skipping COP27 Climate Summit

The United Nations estimates that a 45 percent decrease in emissions is required by the year 2030 in order to achieve the Paris targets.

Sunak has decided this week that COP26 president Alok Sharma and climate change minister Graham Stuart will no longer be required to attend Cabinet meetings. They both maintain their current positions.

Sunak has had a contradictory record on climate change over his years in Congress and his brief stint as leader. This week he reversed Truss’s decision to lift a prohibition on fracking for oil and gas in the United Kingdom, and then reintroduced the ban. During his leadership campaign this summer, he also pledged to cease onshore wind ICLN, +0.48% operations.

Bloomberg reports that Grant Shapps, the new secretary of energy, has called onshore wind turbines a “eyesore.”

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