King Charles III will not attend COP27 after Tras objected

The then Prince Charles on a sponsored bike ride in June 2021
The then Prince Charles on a sponsored bike ride in June 2021

King Charles III will not travel to next month’s United Nations climate summit in Egypt, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Sunday, after UK Prime Minister Liz Truss reportedly “objected” to the staunch environmentalist’s presence.

Britain’s new monarch, who took over the throne when his mother Queen Elizabeth II died last month, had intended to deliver a speech to world leaders gathered at the COP27 summit on November 6-18, the Sunday Times reported .

But the plan was scrapped after Truss – who was appointed prime minister by the late queen just two days before she died – objected during a private audience with Charles at the palace last month, the paper said.

Queen Elizabeth addressed the last UN climate summit in November 2021, with the blessing of the Tory government led by Trudeau’s predecessor, Boris Johnson.

Charles III’s office appeared to distance itself from the paper’s inflammatory report, insisting the king had sought Truss’s advice.

“With mutual friendship and respect it was agreed that the king would not attend,” he told the BBC.

The Sunday Times story comes amid speculation that Britain’s new leader — already under fire for her economic plans that have sparked market turmoil — could controversially scale back the country’s legally binding climate commitments.

Her newly formed cabinet contains several ministers who have expressed skepticism about the so-called net zero targets of 2050, while Truss herself is seen as less enthusiastic about the policy than her predecessor Johnson.

The newspaper said he is unlikely to attend COP27 — the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change — in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Britain hosted the last summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland. In addition to the late Queen, Charles and his son William both spoke at the event.

Downing Street declined to comment on the report.

Cabinet minister Simon Clarke dismissed it as “simply not true”, telling Sky News the decision was made “consensually” and “amicably”.

Meanwhile, Conservative Party leader Jake Berry told the broadcaster that the government is “committed to net zero by 2050”.

But Tory MP Tobias Ellwood urged a review of the monarch’s non-involvement in Egypt, tweeting that he hoped “common sense would prevail”.

“King Charles is a globally respected voice on the environment and climate change,” Ellwood added.

“His presence would add serious prestige to the British delegation. Can we really go from hosting COP26 to soft power at COP27?”

The Sunday Times said the episode was “likely to inflame tensions” between Charles and Truss, but quoted a government source as claiming the audience was “cordial” and “there was no row”.

Meanwhile, a royal source told the newspaper: “It is no mystery that the king was invited to go there.

“He has had to think very carefully about what steps to take for his first overseas tour and will not be attending COP(27).”

By convention in Britain, all official visits by members of the royal family abroad take place on government advice.

However, despite not attending in person, reports said the king still hopes to be able to make some sort of contribution to the conference.

Charles III is a committed environmentalist, with a long history of campaigning for better conservation, organic farming and tackling climate change.

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