British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is no longer expected to attend the COP27 climate summit in Egypt next week due to “other pressing commitments,” a Downing Street spokesperson said on Thursday.
The UK will still be represented by other senior ministers, as well as by COP26 President Alok Sharma, at the climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, the statement said.
“The government is absolutely committed to supporting COP27 and leading international action to tackle climate change and protect nature,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
“The Prime Minister is not expected to attend the summit in Egypt due to other pressing domestic commitments, including preparations for the autumn statement.”
Sharma and the senior ministers who are attending will be working to ensure countries continue to make progress on the commitments made at COP26 in Glasgow, the statement continued.
The news comes weeks after British media reports at the beginning of October said noted environmentalist King Charles III would miss COP27 after then-Prime Minister Liz Truss advised him to drop his plans to attend.
CNN understands that the King’s attendance at COP27 had not been confirmed and, following consultations with the government, there was a joint agreement that this would not be the right occasion for Charles’s first overseas visit as a sovereign.
King Charles attended the climate change conference as Prince of Wales in 2021.