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In the UK, Rishi Sunak’s indecision about his participation in COP27 is causing controversy

Controversy has grown in London in recent days after the new Conservative prime minister, Rishi Sunak, announced he would not travel to Sharm El-Sheikh for COP27, from November 7 to 18. The notice was given when The United Kingdom was the organizer of COP26 in November 2021 in Glasgow, and that the British Alok Sharma is still the president – until the handover of the torch to the Egyptian foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry. Downing Street only explained late last week that Mr Sunak, who took over from Liz Truss on October 25, wanted to focus on domestic policy and work on finalizing an amendment budget to be published. 17 November.

On Monday 31 October, faced with an avalanche of criticism, the leader’s spokesman changed his speech: “The Prime Minister is still focused on preparing [du budget]. Any possible participation in COP27 will be conditional on its progress. »

A “major lack of leadership”

Rishi Sunak has no room for error after promising it “to solve the problems” caused by plans of Mme Truss, forced to resign after panicking financial markets with his policy of massive unfunded tax cuts. But even within his political majority, some believe Mr Sunak has the wrong priority and is sending the wrong signal, with rich countries still failing to deliver on their pledge to raise $100bn (€101bn) a year. to help poor countries in their transition, and that the alarming signs of a runaway climate are increasing.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers After the resignation of Liz Truss, Britain plunged into a deep and unprecedented political crisis

Labor leader Keir Starmer condemned one “great lack of leadership”.Rishi Sunak obviously finds it difficult to understand that the fight against global warming is not just a story of international reputation. The energy transition can create job opportunities, increase our energy security and reduce our electricity bills.” lamented Ed Miliband, the climate minister in Mr. Starmer’s shadow cabinet.

The harshest remarks came from Alok Sharma, who will lead the British delegation to Sharm El-Sheikh. Praised for his mastery of the negotiations at the Glasgow conference, this normally discreet Conservative MP told himself ” very disappointed “ by Mr. Sunak’s possible absence in Egypt. In the columns of Sunday TimesSunday, October 30, he points out, to go to COP27 ” allows you to continue the dialogue with other managers [le président français, Emmanuel Macron, et son homologue américain, Joe Biden, ont annoncé leur venue]. And that underlines our commitment [d’atteindre les objectifs de réduction des émissions de CO2]. »

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