Police 27: Rishi Sunak accused of 'lack of leadership' during climate summit

PM's claim to be 'front line' of condemned global effort - amid warnings that catastrophic change is close to being 'irreversible'

Rishi Sunak has been accused of a "leadership vacuum", as he arrived at the make-or-break Cop27 summit with a warning that climate damage is now virtually "irreversible".

The prime minister's claim to be the "front line" of global efforts to prevent disaster was ridiculed after his initial refusal to attend a landmark conference - and by the "gaping chasm" between the government's promises and actions.

When he left for Egypt, for just one night, Sunak argued that it was still possible to “limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees”, the point at which runaway climate change would become unstoppable.

But Britain was among 165 countries criticized for failing to deliver on promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as leaders agreed at Cop26 in Glasgow a year ago.

Mr Sunak will pledge a small amount of cash to help protect rainforests and increase green energy in African countries and to divert existing funds to help poor countries adapt to the crisis.

But, as The Independent reveals, the government has refused to say whether existing promises on climate finance are being fulfilled – even though Boris Johnson claims spending will increase to an average of £2.3 billion a year.

Ed Miliband, the Labor Party's shadow climate change secretary, criticized the "leadership vacuum" during the year-long Cop UK presidency, saying: "I don't think it has achieved what it was supposed to do.

"Rishi Sunak has sent a message with his doubts about whether he is leaving and, with some of his policy agenda, that the UK is getting out of the climate leadership business."

Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: "I don't think there is any leadership either from our country or, frankly, from any other country."

Chris Venables, head of politics at Green Alliance, said: “Rishi Sunak needs to urgently release the finances needed by countries on the front lines of this crisis, unleash renewables like onshore wind to lower soaring energy bills, and resist new oil and gas expansions. . in the North Sea."

Greenpeace has attacked governments for failing to deliver on promises of financial assistance to developing countries and policies that "totally fail to meet their climate targets".

"If Sunak wants Britain to become a global climate leader, he needs to put aside drilling for new oil and gas, invest in home isolation, and support developing countries' demands for financial loss and damage," said UK politics chief Rebecca Newsom.

Mike Childs, Friends of the Earth policy chief, said: “We've seen a gaping gulf between commitment and action.

"The UK government is far from meeting its climate targets and has been ordered by the High Court to rewrite its insufficient net zero strategy."

On leaving London, Sunak said: “The world is gathering in Glasgow with one last chance to come up with a plan that will limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

“The question today is: can we summon the collective will to fulfill those promises? I believe we can.”

But, in Egypt, Cop27 began against the grim backdrop of a new UN report that found the 1.5C limit for global warming was now "virtually unattainable" - after the past eight years it was the eight warmest on record.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, warned that "our planet is on track to reach a tipping point that will render climate chaos irreversible".

Simon Stiell, the UN's climate chief, demanded that Glasgow's pledge to step up CO2 reduction plans be kept, saying he was "watchful" of 165 countries failing to act.

"I'm not going to be a throwback keeper," he said, adding: "We know what everyone has to do everywhere, every day, doing everything we can. Colleagues, it's time to get to work."

Sunak's visit comes after an embarrassing U-turn that saw him first plan to skip Cop27 – to concentrate on “domestic” priorities – and after No 10 barred King Charles from attending.

He has also sent Alok Sharma, the respected president of Cop26, into exile, sacked from his cabinet and government.

And British plans to dramatically expand North Sea oil and gas production are on the line, with Joe Biden's climate envoy, John Kerry, warning against the new license.

In Egypt, where the UK will negotiate on its own – not as part of the EU bloc – for the first time, Sunak will unveil £65.5m for clean technology projects in developing countries.

And he will “confirm” £150 million funding for tropical forest conservation and restoration work to protect rainforests and natural habitats, including the Congo Basin and the Amazon. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS.

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