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British PM Rishi Sunak won’t attend COP27 climate change conference



British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak won’t go to the COP27 climate conference in November, his office announced, saying that other ministers would go in his place.

“We remain committed to net zero and to leading international and domestic action to tackle climate change,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said. “The U.K. is forging ahead of many other countries on net zero.”

Labor Party shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband criticized the decision.

“You’ve got world leaders from around the globe gathering together to talk about how we can tackle the biggest long-term threat we face … and our prime minister can’t be bothered to turn up,” Miliband told the BBC. “I think that is a total failure of generations today and generations in the future.”

A United Nations climate change report ahead of the COP27 conference warned that global efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions are falling short of what’s needed to keep Earth’s warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Sunak’s spokesperson said preparing the autumn budget is among the priorities that are keeping him from attending COP27.

“The government is absolutely committed to supporting COP27 and leading international action to tackle climate change and protect nature,” the spokesperson said.

Britain will be represented by COP26 President Alok Sharma and other senior British ministers at the climate conference in Egypt, according to Sunak’s office.

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