COP27 gave Rishi Sunak the first “big backpedal” of his term

“On Thursday 10 November, Downing Street had said Mr Sunak would not be attending [à la COP27] due to ‘pressing British obligations’. But on Monday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman assured that the decision was ‘under investigation’.”sums up BBC.

If Rishi Sunak finally flies to Egypt to find Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden there, it will be “the first big back pedal” of his mandate, one week after accession, observes The independent.

Downing Street had cited the need for Rishi Sunak to focus on preparing the Budget, which is due on November 17. But the pretext did not convince anyone, neither in the opposition nor among the NGOs, nor even in the ranks of the Conservative Party. An aggravating factor for the prime minister’s critics: COP26 was held in Glasgow, and as such the UK is still leading the event until the start of COP27.

Political costs

Alok Sharma, conservative parliamentarian and president of COP26, did not mince words on Sunday in an interview with Sunday Timessays to himself “very disappointed” that Mr. Sunak does not make the trip to Sharm El-Sheikh, and warns him against a possible sanction from the British at the next election.

“If you look at what’s happened in the Australian election over the last few months, one of the reasons the Conservatives lost is because people felt they didn’t rise to the occasion. [du changement climatique] seriously enough”he assures.

King Charles III himself, “passionate activist for environmental causes”touched the knife to the wound and announced at the weekend that he would meet on Friday “around 200 business leaders, policy makers and NGOs to mark the end of the UK Presidency of COP26”reports SkyNews.

The news channel recalls that the king had expressed his desire to participate in COP27, but that the government of former Prime Minister Liz Truss had respectfully asked him to abstain – a position confirmed by the news administration.

Boris Johnson ambushed

The potential political cost, Britain’s damaged image and frustration with Buckingham Palace may not be the only reasons that pushed the Prime Minister to begin a cautious turn: this weekend, The Observer revealed that former Downing Street tenant Boris Johnson planned to attend COP27 “to show solidarity in the fight against the climate crisis”.

A prospect that must have given the new Prime Minister a cold sweat, while Boris Johnson’s presence in Egypt “would be seen as both an implicit criticism of Sunak’s absence and an attempt to boost his image”just a week after giving up seeking a new term as prime minister, explains the left-wing daily.

To The Guardianthere is “a lesson to learn” COP27 pace for “the inexperienced” Rishi Sunak: “Prioritizing the pressing issues of the moment (in this case the budget) at the expense of the more distant and existential ones of tomorrow (the prospect of a planet turned into an oven) is basically why we’re here. got there. Sometimes shall the future trump the present”.

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