UK leader reverses decision not to attend UN climate talks

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UK leader reverses decision not to attend UN climate talks

LONDON (AP) — U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday reversed an earlier decision not to attend the U.N. climate summit in Egypt.

Sunak’s office previously said he had to skip the talks, which start on Sunday, because of “pressing domestic commitments,” including the closely-watched government budget statement, expected to be announced on Nov. 17.

But Sunak tweeted Wednesday that he would attend the two-week gathering because “there is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change.”

New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks at Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, after returning from Buckingham Palace where he was formally appointed to the post by Britain’s King Charles III. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

“There is no energy security without investing in renewables,” he wrote.

Sunak’s earlier decision to skip the talks were criticized by many, including climate adviser Alok Sharma.

The U.K. currently holds the presidency of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and hosted the climate summit last year in Glasgow, Scotland.

Green Party lawmaker Caroline Lucas said Sunak’s U-turn was “an embarrassing misstep on the world stage.”

“Let this be a lesson to him — climate leadership matters,” she tweeted.

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