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Why I won’t attend COP27 climate summit – Sunak

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday defended his decision not to attend next month’s COP27 climate change summit, saying he had to focus on “pressing” economic problems.

In an interview with Sky News a day after Downing Street announced he was skipping the summit, the prime minister stressed he was “very personally committed” to environmental issues.

“I just think at the moment it’s right that I’m also focusing on the pressing domestic challenges we have with the economy, and I think that’s what people watching would reasonably expect me to be doing as well,” Sunak said.

The COP27 UN climate change conference takes place in Egypt on November 7-8, two weeks after Sunak became prime minister.

According to AFP, opposition Labour party leader Keir Starmer attacked the Tory leader’s decision to “shun” the event, while Green Party leader Caroline Lucas said that Sunak’s absence was a “shameful way to end the UK’s COP Presidency.”

The UK hosted the previous summit, COP26, in Glasgow in Scotland in 2021, with British politician Alok Sharma serving as president.

Sunak said the UK should be “really proud of how we’re doing” as “one of the countries that has decarbonised the fastest”.

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