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UK King Charles will not attend COP27 in Egypt

October 3, 2022 at 1:48 pm

King Charles III on September 19, 2022 [Raşid Necati Aslım/Anadolu Agency]

A royal source has confirmed that the UK’s King Charles will not attend COP27 which is set to be held in Egypt in November as he distances himself from campaigning roles.

It was reported that Prime Minister Liz Truss said that it was not right for Charles to attend as it would make Egypt his first trip abroad as king.

A source at the palace told the Sunday Times that the decision was “an error of judgement on the part of the government” as the Queen gave a non-political speech in Glasgow last year.

King Charles has taken an active role in environmental issues, encouraging businesses and leaders to sign the Paris climate agreement, and calling on world leaders to spend trillions of dollars on fighting climate change.

At the beginning of September, before he became king, Charles announced the Sustainable Markets Initiative, a forum to bring together private and public sectors to try and speed up the transition to a sustainable future.

He also spoke at the opening of COP21 in Paris in 2015 and at the opening ceremony of COP26.

In July, during a phone call between Egypt’s foreign minister and then Prince Charles, Sameh Shoukry praised his efforts to support and promote climate change action and said that Egypt looked forward to working with Charles to confront climate change.

WATCH: ‘There is no environmental justice without a free civic space’, Yasmin Omar on the destruction of green space in Egypt and COP27

COP27 will be held in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in November, where heads of states, ministers and climate change activists will meet to discuss issues which are key to tackling the climate change emergency.

This year’s conference has come under heavy criticism because the hosting country Egypt has committed severe human rights abuses.

There are some 60,000 political prisoners in the country, thousands are forcibly disappeared and have been placed under travel bans so they can’t leave the country.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticised the government for severely curtailing the ability of environmental groups to carry out independent policy, advocacy and field work essential for protecting the country’s natural environment.

Egypt has also been accused of pursuing huge redevelopment plans and cutting down thousands of trees to make way for them.

The New Administrative Capital being built 50 kilometres from Cairo has used a huge amount of waste, energy and water and has been criticised for not helping people who are most vulnerable to climate change.