Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has come under attack today after the news broke that he will not be attending next month’s COP 27 climate summit in Egypt from 6 – 18 November 2022. More than 90 world leaders, including President Joe Biden, will be there.

“The Prime Minister is not expected to attend COP27 and this is due to other pressing domestic commitments including preparations for the Autumn Budget,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“The government and prime minister remain absolutely committed to supporting COP27 and to leading international action to tackle climate change,”she clarified. “We remain committed to net zero and to leading international and domestic action to tackle climate change. The UK is forging ahead of many other countries on net zero.”

According to No 10, the UK delegation will be present but domestic issues PM Sunak has to deal with prevent him from going. Ed Miliband reacted by saying this is a “massive failure of leadership.”

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

The United Nations issued another grim warning about climate change by pointing out the great divide between rhetoric and reality.

Last year in Glasgow, 120 world leaders came to COP26. According to the UN, the heads of states made bold commitments, but they are still falling far short of the Paris goals, with “no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place.”

01/11/2021. Glasgow, United Kingdom. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson, chats to The President of the United States, Joe Biden on arrival to the COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Current plans to cut carbon emissions worldwide would take just 1 degree off the predicted global emissions for 2030. That means we are heading towards a temperature rise of 2.8 degrees over the century, nearly double the target.

To achieve the desired rise of just 1.5°C, a 45% cut in global emissions is needed by 2030.

The UN believes the governments need to take immediate action now to avoid anything short of what they say is a global catastrophe. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “We are headed for a global catastrophe.”

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