CAIRO: Egypt has said it hopes British King Charles III will attend the COP27 climate summit next month in Sharm El-Sheikh following the resignation of the UK prime minister who objected to the idea.
Chief climate negotiator Mohamed Nasr made clear there was “an open invitation” to the British monarch. “We still hope he can come to Sharm El-Sheikh,” he said, adding that Charles was “a strong advocate for climate action and a role model.”
Nasr’s comments came after the resignation of Liz Truss, who lasted 44 days as prime minister after crashing the UK economy with a disastrous low tax, fossil-fuel driven budget.
She had objected to the king’s attendance at COP27 on the basis it was a “political” event. As new king, Charles is subject to rules obliging him to be politically neutral.
John Kerry, the US climate envoy, meanwhile told the BBC that Charles should reconsider. He added that he did not consider advocating for action on climate change to be a political act.
Nasr urged Rishi Sunak, Truss’ replacement as PM, not to abandon the UK’s leadership on climate change and its aid pledges.
“We know that there are economic challenges facing the UK and other countries, but we hope that these challenges will not lead to a backslide on commitments,” he said.
He added that the UK was one of the “leading countries” in pledging foreign aid to help developing countries respond to climate change.
Nasr, the director of the environment, climate, and sustainable development department at Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, noted that more than 90 heads of state and government, as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society, would be attending the summit.
Nasr also pointed out that he hoped China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden would be there, saying that their involvement and partnership was crucial.