Britain’s Rishi Sunak will attend COP27 in Egypt next week, he said on Wednesday, after his office previously said the new prime minister was expected to skip the annual climate summit.
“There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change. There is no energy security without investing in renewables,” Sunak wrote on Twitter.
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He added he was attending the summit to “deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future,” in reference to the British city hosting the last edition of the conference in 2021.
Sunak’s office had said last week he was not expected to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference as he focused on “pressing domestic commitments,” inviting both criticism and support for the decision.
Sunak, who became Britain’s third prime minister in two months last week, has been working with finance minister Jeremy Hunt on a package of tax rises and spending cuts to repair the country’s public finances, with a plan due November 17.
The opposition Labour party had called Sunak’s decision to skip COP27 a “massive failure of leadership.” Britain hosted COP26 last year and holds its presidency until the start of the next summit.
Britain’s COP26 president Alok Sharma, who lost his cabinet minister rank after Sunak took office, told the Times newspaper over the weekend Sunak’s absence at the summit could undermine the nation’s position as a world leader on green issues.
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