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Environment Secretary Says It's "Up To" The King If He Wants To Attend Cop27 Climate Summit

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey says it's 'up to him' if the King wants to attend Cop27 (Alamy)

2 min read

Thérèse Coffey has said it is "up to" King Charles if he wants to attend the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt in November, despite reports that he was urged by former Prime Minister Liz Truss not to go to the landmark event.

Coffey, who was appointed as Environment Secretary this week described the monarch as having “always taken a very deep interest in the environment and climate change” and said it was a decision for him to take over whether he attends the event in Egypt next month. 

Earlier this month The Sunday Times reported that Truss had advised the King to stay away during an audience with him at Buckingham Palace in September. 

But Coffey, a close ally of Truss, dismissed the claim, and said she was "not aware" that Truss had advised the King, who has long been a prolific climate campaigner, in that way.  

"I'm conscious that King Charles has always taken a very deep interest in the environment and climate change, and of course it will be up to him to decide how he chooses where to put his priorities in his reign as King,” she told Sky News this morning.  

On Thursday it was confirmed that new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will not attend the summit taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh from 6 to 18 November, a decision for which he has faced some criticism. 

Downing Street has said that there are “other pressing domestic commitments” including preparations for the autumn Budget, due on 17 November. A spokesperson said the UK would be represented by other ministers.

Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted that a Labour government would “show climate leadership”.  

“Britain showing up to work with world leaders is an opportunity to grasp. Not an event to shun.”

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey described Sunak’s actions as “fly[ing] in the face of the UK’s proud record of leading the global fight against climate change”. 

Sunak attended last year’s Cop26 in Glasgow in his capacity as Chancellor.

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