London: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed he will attend the Cop27 environmental conference in Egypt next week, the media reported.
The UK PM had initially indicated he would not travel to North Africa despite the UK hosting the previous event in Glasgow last yea, Daily Mail reported.
The change came after Sunak’s predecessor Boris Johnson confirmed he would attend, having made the environment a key plank of his premiership.
Writing on Twitter, Sunak said: “There 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.”
He had previously said he had to focus on Britain’s ‘depressing domestic challenges’ but faced growing pressure to join other world leaders at the conference next week.
Labour’s climate change secretary Ed Miliband said: “The Prime Minister has been shamed into going to Cop27 by the torrent of disbelief that he would fail to turn up.
“He is going to avoid embarrassment, not to provide leadership.”
Labour 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, Daily Mail reported.
The Prime Minister’s own climate adviser Alok Sharma had said he was ‘disappointed’ that Sunak was not planning to attend.
But today he praised the Prime Minister’s U-turn. The outgoing Cop26 president tweeted: “Delighted that @RishiSunak is attending Cop27 — completely agree with his comment that ‘there is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change’.”
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said Rishi Sunak had been ‘dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing’ after he committed to attend the Cop27 climate summit. “Embarrassing,” she added, Daily Mail reported.
The decision of his arch-rival and former Downing Street neighbour to attend made it even harder for Sunak to resist going.