Boris Johnson confirms he will attend COP27

Boris Johnson confirms he will attend COP27 climate conference

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Boris Johnson has confirmed he will be attending the COP27 meeting in Sharm El Sheikh. The announcement from the former prime minister comes after Rishi Sunak reported he would not be attending the UN climate change conference this year. In his first broadcast interview since his resignation, Mr Johnson defended the Prime Minister’s decision not to attend, noting the “huge agenda” of domestic concerns facing the Conservative Government.

In the exclusive Sky News interview, reporter Mark Austin asked Mr Johnson: “Are you going to go to COP27?”

The former prime minister confirmed: “Yes, as it happens”

He added: “I was invited by the Egyptians, I’m very happy to go.”

Last week, it was reported that Rishi Sunak would miss the conference to address “other pressing domestic commitments”.

A spokesperson for Number Ten said the decision was made in light of “preparations for the autumn budget,” involving the Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson was pressed for comment on the Prime Minister’s planned absence from the climate conference.

He said: “As [Rishi Sunak] has pointed out, he has got a massive amount to do. 

“We’ve got to sort out a huge agenda – that’s what he is getting on with.”

He continued: “I happen to have a particular interest – I was at the Glasgow COP. Although it’s become unfashionable to talk about it, it was a fantastic global success, we did a huge amount of good for the planet. 

“I want to talk a little bit about how I see things and how we see things in the UK.”

Read more: Boris set to ‘upstage’ Sunak with plan to attend COP27 summit

In an update to the Prime Minister’s position at COP27, Number Ten has suggested that the decision for Rishi Sunak not to attend the conference remains under review. 

On Monday, a Downing Street spokesperson reported: “The Prime Minister is focused on pressing domestic issues, most significantly preparing for the autumn statement, so any attendance at COP would depend on progress on preparation for that fiscal event.”

The statement added: “The Prime Minister fully recognises the importance of the COP summit and is fully committed to addressing climate change.”

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Representation of the UK at the COP27 summit had already been brought into question under Liz Truss after King Charles confirmed he would not be travelling to Egypt.

The King has been a consistent champion of environmental campaigns and appeared at COP26 in Glasgow last year.

Following the announcement, rumours swirled that then prime minister Liz Truss had advised the monarch not to attend. These suggestions were later refuted by the Palace and Downing Street.

The conference will be held from the 6th to the 18th of November and with events starting as soon as next week, the Prime Minister is now under fresh pressure to confirm whether he will u-turn on his decision to forgo the international summit.

Read next: 
‘Sunak has one shot to do right by the people of Britain’
King Charles blocked from attending COP27 by Sunak 
King ‘going to relish’ meeting with Sunak once a week 
Rishi Sunak pulls out of Cop 27 to focus on Autumn Budget
King Charles III not attending COP27 is ‘the correct thing to do’

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