Rishi Sunak may now go to Cop27 global warming summit in Egypt, says minister – Yahoo Eurosport UK
Food minister Mark Spencer made clear the Prime Minister may go to the gathering of world leaders in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.
Only days ago, Mr Sunak was stressing he was planning not to go and instead to stay in Britain to deal with the “domestic challenges” including the economic crisis ahead of the Autumn Statement on November 17.
But Mr Spencer told Sky News he may now go to the summit which starts on Sunday and runs until November 18.
He said: “The Prime Minister has a huge inbox…full to the brim.
“Clearly, he wants to concentrate on the financial statement and that is what is he doing.
“But if he is able to get through all of that, Cop is very important to the Government, to our future, so we will send out senior ministers.”
Pressed if he would like to see the PM go to the summit, he added: “If he has got time.
“Only he will know what he has got in his inbox and in his diary, if he has the time.
“He will make that call and I’m sure it will be the right one.”
The shift in plans came after Alok Sharma, the president of last year’s Cop26 in Glasgow criticised Mr Sunak for choosing not to attend the gathering in Egypt.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also believed to be considering going, a move which may have put pressure on the PM to do so.
Baroness Kate Parminter, who chairs the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee, warned it would be a “failure of leadeship” if Mr Sunak decides in the end not to go to Cop27.
The Liberal Democrat peer said: “There isn’t a second to lose in our fight against climate change and we need all countries to play their part – the PM’s refusal to attend this vital global climate conference is disastrous for our country and our planet.
“Rishi Sunak should attend Cop and re-instate Alok Sharma MP to Cabinet.”
Downing Street has advised against King Charles, a world leader on protecting the environment, from attending the summit.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi stressed that Cop27 is an opportunity to “showcase unity against an existential threat that we can only overcome through concerted action and effective implementation”.
Hopes are rising that Brazil may step up its battle against global warming, with better protection of rainforests, after former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva beat Far-Right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in the presidential election.
Mr Sunak tweeted: “Congratulations to @LulaOficial on his victory in Brazil’s election.
“I look forward to working together on the issues that matter to the UK and Brazil, from growing the global economy to protecting the planet’s natural resources and promoting democratic values.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer messaged: “Congratulations to @LulaOficial on the great news of his election as President of Brazil.
“This win must also be the start of a new era of global cooperation and action in the fight against climate change.”