Zac Goldsmith confronted by 11-year-old climate activist at COP27

Zac Goldsmith points at Licypriya Kangujam before walking off  (Twitter/ Licypriya Kangujam)
Zac Goldsmith points at Licypriya Kangujam before walking off (Twitter/ Licypriya Kangujam)

Zac Goldsmith walked away from an 11-year-old climate activist at COP27 who repeatedly asked when the government will release jailed climate protestors.

Licypriya Kangujam, an indigenous campaigner, was filmed as she harangued the former Mayor of London candidate at the summit in Sharm El Sheikh.

She is heard asking: “When will you release those jailed climate activists [that] your government arrested for protesting to stop new oil and gas licences across UK?"

Tory peer Lord Goldsmith was in the Egyptian city in his role as minister for the Commonwealth and overseas territories, and international environment, climate, forests and energy. He retains his minister role despite being a member of the House of Lords since losing his Richmond Park seat parliamentary to Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney in 2019.

He is seen addressing his young critic but then walks away as she questions his government’s position on climate issues. Much of what he says is inaudible but he can be heard to say “I can do nothing” as he makes a beeline for the exit.

Licypriya is blocked from approaching Lord Goldsmith by a female aide.

She tweeted: “If he can do nothing then why is he a minister? Why he's coming to #COP27 ? This is unacceptable. This is not fair.”

Lord Goldsmith has not commented on the incident.

He had already attended an event at the conference to discuss what steps can be taken to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation. His German counterpart Jochen Flasbarth tweeted his appreciation of the Lord’s contribution afterwards.

Lord Goldsmith has been approached for comment.