King should attend climate summit - COP26 president

time:2023-06-03 01:40:16source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:news

King Charles should attend the upcoming climate change conference COP27, the president of last year's summit and member of Liz Truss's cabinet has said.

Alok Sharma was responding to a report which claimed the prime minister had "ordered" the King not to attend.

Buckingham Palace later confirmed the King will not attend the summit in Egypt next month.

Mr Sharma said the King had championed the environment for decades and other countries wanted him to attend.

The former business secretary, who led COP26 in Glasgow last November and retains cabinet status, told BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight programme: "I would certainly like to see His Majesty attend and that is a message I am getting from countries around the world.

"Of course, he is head of state in the United Kingdom but he is also head of state in other countries, some of which are very much on the front line of climate change."

On Sunday, Buckingham Palace said the decision for King Charles not to attend COP27 had been made "with mutual friendship and respect" after the monarch sought the prime minister's advice.

Mr Sharma said he couldn't comment about the content of the conversations between the King and prime minister, but said the monarch had for decades been a "huge global champion of the environment and tackling climate change long before it was a mainstream issue".

In his former role as the Prince of Wales, the King has been a staunch climate campaigner and made a speech during the opening ceremony of last year's summit.

Last week, Egypt warned the UK not to "backtrack" on the global climate agenda.

Ms Truss has not said whether she will attend COP27, suggesting that the UK may have neither a head of government nor a head of state in attendance.

Mr Sharma said the prime minister had been clear on the government's commitment to reach a target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

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