OPINION - Talking Point: Is Cop27 a cop-out?

Greta Thunberg claimed Cop27 is an opportunity for greenwashing (AFP via Getty Images)
Greta Thunberg claimed Cop27 is an opportunity for greenwashing (AFP via Getty Images)

Eco-activist Greta Thunberg has called out the upcoming United Nations climate summit as being an opportunity for ”greenwashing” and claimed she would not be attending.

Speaking at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre to promote her forthcoming book, the Swedish activist said: “I’m not going to COP27 for many reasons, but the space for civil society this year is extremely limited.

“The Cops are mainly used as an opportunity for leaders and people in power to get attention, using many different kinds of greenwashing”, she said.

Greta Thunberg appeared to reference Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s intention to snub the event, saying: “Many world leaders are too busy to go there because they have their own problems … With that mindset we’re not going to be able to solve many of the problems that we face.”

Mr Sunak came under criticism last week after saying he would be “focusing on the depressing domestic challenges we have with the economy” rather than attending Cop27 in Egypt.

Since then, there has been speculation from inside government that the PM may have changed his mind, as No10 confirmed that his position was “under review”.

Mr Sunak’s official spokesperson hinted that a trip to Sharm El-Sheikh, where the event is to take place, may be on the cards. He said: “Any attendance at Cop would depend on progress on preparation for that fiscal event, and that work is ongoing”.

“The Prime Minister fully recognises the importance of the Cop summit and is fully committed to addressing climate change,” he added.

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