Rishi Sunak confirms he will attend Cop27 after previously ruling himself out of event

Rishi Sunak had previously said he would not be attending the summit in Egypt

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reversed on his decision to skip Cop27 and will attend the climate summit in Egypt next week, saying: “There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change.”

Mr Sunak wrote on Twitter: “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 @COP27P next week: to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future.”

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak
Angela Rayner said Mr Sunak had been “dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing”
Angela Rayner said Mr Sunak had been “dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing”

Mr Sunak was initially not planning to attend, with Downing Street saying he was focusing on “depressing domestic challenges”.

But the announcement by his predecessor Boris Johnson he was going to the talks piled further pressure on the PM to backtrack on his decision.

He had also faced widespread calls to attend, including from his own climate chief Alok Sharma, who presided over the Cop26 summit in Glasgow last year.

While Green MP Caroline Lucas wrote on Twitter: “Glad to see Sunak’s screeching U-turn on #COP27, but what an embarrassing mis-step on the world stage. Let this be a lesson to him – climate leadership matters.

“Now he urgently needs to increase UK ambition on emission reduction targets & pay what we owe to global climate funds.”

Mr Sunak’s climate tsar Mr Sharma said he was “delighted” by the PM'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’.”

While Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said Mr Sunak had been “dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing” after he committed to attend the Cop27 climate summit.

“Embarrassing,” she added.