LONDON: UK PM Rishi Sunak is coming under increasing pressure for his decision to take part in this year’s COP27 Climate Conference in Egypt in the coming month, following the revelation that his former rival, Boris Johnson, plans to attend the conference.
Johnson will attend this summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh, which is scheduled to host many other world leaders, in order to display “solidarity” with efforts to fight climate change, according to The Observer newspaper.
Johnson’s participation as a backbench member would be a fascinating development after he resigned from his post in just over seven weeks and was defeated this week with his daring attempt to be reinstated to 10 Downing Street and prevent Sunak from becoming the prime minister.
Some have suggested that the move could be an attempt to put pressure on Sunak earlier in his presidency as well as the Observer said that talks are being held to convince Sunak to reconsider his decision.
Sunak has stated that he is at a loss to be able to attend COP27 in the midst of dealing with the continuing economic turmoil.
Johnson’s appearance is a source of another issue for the government following the Telegraph report that King Charles III will host a party for politicians and notable people in London following “mutually” agreeing not to be present at COP27 with the exception of 10.
The king, who was a vocal environmentalist prior to assuming the throne earlier in the year was reported to have been “personally disappointed” to miss the ceremony, despite being “all lined up to go.
His mother Elizabeth II, was famously the keynote speaker at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, the Scottish city Glasgow in 2011.
Sunak has been criticized by members of his own party due to his personal position in attending COP27 while the government has received criticism for its overall position regarding climate change in recent months.
Sharma who is heading the UK negotiation group in Sharm El-Sheikh, told an interview in The Sunday Times: “I’m pretty dismayed that the Prime Minister isn’t going. I’m aware that he’s got many domestic issues to tackle.
Sharma who was the head of the COP26 summit, but is set to take over his duties in Egypt and said: “People want the UK leadership to be maintained — they truly appreciate what we’ve done and I would like to ensure regardless of who is going to Egypt or does not go, we keep the leadership in climate change.
Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary of state for the environment and net zero stated: “Rishi Sunak is absent in the context of dealing with the issue of climate. In the event that even the former Prime Minister attends the COP27 conference, it’s another sign of his massive lack of leadership.