Who will attend the Cop27 conference in Egypt after Rishi Sunak U-turns?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has now said he will attend after originally stating he was too preoccupied with domestic issues  (James Manning/PA)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has now said he will attend after originally stating he was too preoccupied with domestic issues (James Manning/PA)

The 27th climate-change conference hosted by the United Nations, Cop27, will begin on November 6.

The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties is an annual event that brings together politicians and business leaders to discuss climate change.

This month, world leaders will attend the conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where they will discuss matters relating to global warming, such as food security and investing in the future of energy.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak originally said he would not attend the conference but U-turned on his decision on Wednesday November 2, after receiving backlash over his decision.

So who else can we expect to see at Cop27?

Who can attend Cop27?

Parties to the Convention, United Nations and related organisations and agencies, media, and non-profit organisations with observer status can register to attend the sessions of the convention.

Who is attending Cop27?

Mr Sunak will attend the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt despite No 10's earlier assertions that he was too preoccupied with domestic issues to do so.

He had previously said he would remain in London to focus on “depressing domestic challenges”.

Mr Sunak announced his U-turn on Twitter but made no reference to his previous reluctance.

“There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change. There is no energy security without investing in renewables. That is why I will attend Cop27 next week: to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future,” he tweeted.

Other Conservatives largely praised Sunak's U-turn. Chris Skidmore, who headed the government's net zero review, said: “It’s extremely good news that Rishi Sunak will continue to champion the UK’s climate leadership and Cop26 legacy with Alok Sharma.

“I look forward to also attending Cop27 to highlight how the net zero review is an opportunity to better deliver greater prosperity and economic growth.”

US President Joe Biden will attend the conference, the White House has confirmed.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the president would “build on the significant work the United States has undertaken to advance the global climate fight and help the most vulnerable build resilience to climate impacts, and he will highlight the need for the world to act in this decisive decade”.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will also attend Cop27. A spokesperson said: “Given the vital importance of governments working together to tackle climate change, it is the First Minister’s intention to attend Cop27.”

Who will not attend Cop27?

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg will not attend Cop27 after branding it an opportunity for “greenwashing, lying and cheating" by people in power.

King Charles III will host a reception at Buckingham Palace for world leaders attending the conference but will not attend the conference following government advice.

The King is passionate about fighting the climate crisis and has previously campaigned for environmental issues and delivered a keynote speech during Cop26 in Glasgow, but former primer minister Liz Truss advised him not to attend.

Mr Sunak has upheld Ms Truss’s decision, with the Times reporting a source as saying the King was “champing at the bit” to go and would be disappointed by the government’s stance.