British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that he will attend the COP27 climate summit in Egypt the following week, reversing his previous decision to skip the meeting in Sharm El Sheikh to concentrate on domestic issues and the UK's economic crisis.
Sunak revealed his plans via Twitter in response to criticism from climate activists and within the government from Indian-origin COP27 President Alok Sharma, who said the prime minister's presence would demonstrate the UK's commitment to climate action.
His ex-boss, former prime minister Boris Johnson, confirmed that he would attend the summit scheduled for November 6 to 18.
Sunak tweeted, "There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change."
"Without investing in renewables, there is no energy security. I will attend COP27 next week in order to continue Glasgow's legacy of constructing a secure and sustainable future "He said this about the COP26 summit that the United Kingdom presided over in Scotland last November.
The Labour Party, the opposition, described Sunak's reversal of his attendance decision as him being "dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing; embarrassing."
The Green Party's initial announcement that it would not attend was described as a "sudden U-turn" and an "embarrassing misstep on the world stage" by the party.
This week, Downing Street announced that Sunak's attendance at the summit was being reconsidered as progress was being made with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on the preparation of a crucial economic statement to be released on November 17.
Numerous world leaders, such as US Vice President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, will attend the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Union Environment Minister of India, Bhupender Yadav, will lead an 18-member delegation to COP 27, with the attendance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi still to be confirmed.
Friday, Buckingham Palace will host a COP27 pre-summit reception for world leaders. King Charles III, an ardent climate activist who will not be present, will host the reception. Planned as a review of the progress made since the UK hosted the COP26 summit in Glasgow last November, Sunak, and Sharma will be among the international business leaders and decision-makers in attendance.