Rishi Sunak not attending Cop27 is 'standard practice', says Therese Coffey
Indy

Rishi Sunak is not going to Cop27 and people think the optics are terrible.

While the previous prime minister Liz Truss was due to attend the annual climate conference in which countries work together on measures to limit the impact of climate change, new PM Sunak has opted not to.

Cop27 will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, in Egypt, from 6 to 18 November. It finishes the day after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is due to set out the UK's tax and spending plans.

US President Biden plans to go and even Boris Johnson went last year - though he made a few gaffes.

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Meanwhile, Cop26 president Alok Sharma and climate minister Graham Stuart will no longer attend cabinet, it has been announced, so people think climate change is not one of Sunak's priorities.

Reacting to the news, people were outraged:

Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said the move suggests Sunak does not take climate change "seriously enough".

But Therese Coffey defended him on this morning's media round. She told broadcasters: "The government has postponed the medium term fiscal plan until November 17, I know that the prime minister is very keen to work with the chancellor very closely on this important element, and so he’s prioritising that.

"While at the same time, of course, the UK continues to show global leadership, as opposed to just a gathering of people in Egypt."

A Downing Street spokesperson told indy100 the government was committed to supporting Cop27 and leading international action to tackle climate change and protect nature.

“The UK will be fully represented by other senior ministers, as well as Cop president Alok Sharma,” the spokesperson said. “They will be working to ensure that countries continue to make progress on the groundbreaking commitments made at Cop26 in Glasgow.”

Not a good start to a premiership.

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