Rishi Sunak made the U-turn today, announcing that he would attend COP27 next week in Egypt. Last week, the prime minister was too busy fixing the economic crisis at home to attend the summit in person, but today he changed his mind.

Asked by The Pavlovic Today, does the US welcome Sunak’s decision, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price revealed the Biden administration’s reaction.

“Our British allies have always intended to be robustly engaged in the upcoming COP27. We certainly welcome the fact that the Prime Minister will be attending. Without speaking for the President, I imagine that the President will look forward to seeing the prime minister there,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price ahead of the climate summit.

Regarding Sunak’s statement today that “there is no energy security without investing in renewables,” The Pavlovic Today asked Price to comment on Sunak’s climate priorities and lay out the areas of the US-UK cooperation around energy and investment in renewables.

Rishi Sunak chairs the panel event ‘Supporting a Financial System for a Net Zero and Resilient Future’ at COP26 in Glasgow

“Climate cooperation, climate ambition, and climate adaptation is a priority in every single one of our bilateral relationships. And, of course, there is no closer bilateral relationship we have than with our British allies. Hence the reason that we cooperate very closely both on climate with our British allies and also on energy independence, ” said Price.

“We have discussed at length the steps that we’re taking with the UK and with our European allies regarding efforts to see to it that all of our countries, the United States and the UK included, grow more resilient to potential energy shocks and ultimately grow more energy independent,” Price echoed Secretary John Kerry who spoke earlier to the State Department reporters.

Rishi Sunak brings his ‘Green Box’ – a variation on his traditional red budget box – to Finance Day at COP26 in Glasgow

“The instability, owing to President Putin’s unjustified and illegal war against Ukraine, has served as a powerful reminder. The world, over in Europe and North America, across the world, have the need to transition away from fossil fuels, but certainly, the need to transition away from dependence on foreign countries that don’t share our interests. We’ve been reminded of this even recently with some of the weaponization of energy that we’ve seen from Russia. Europe has borne much of the brunt of this. It’s why we focused many of our activities both over the near term and over the longer term on working with Europe to insulate against potential energy shocks over the near term. We’ve worked with partners around the world, including in Indo-Pacific Japan, for example, to serve supplies of LNG to Europe to help with capacity and with the needs over the coming months during the winter,” said Price.

LNG exports to Europe

Ned Price said that the US had taken steps to increase exports of LNG to Europe. “We’ve taken steps here to increase domestic energy production as well, and we’re exporting more than we have before, and that’s an addition to our the President’s decision to tap into the strategic Strategic Petroleum petroleum reserve to release 180 million barrels of petroleum for those same purposes, as well over the longer term,” said Price.

“We’re also looking at this not in terms of weeks and months, but also years. In the case of Europe, President Biden and President Von der Leyen in June of this past year, established the US-EU Energy Task Force to focus on how we can align our policies. How we can align our respective approaches so that together, we’re taking steps that will in the coming years leave us far less vulnerable to the potential weaponization of energy and how ultimately, we can become far more independent from foreign sources of energy.”

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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