Sunak urges nations to use green fight to spark mass job creation

King Charles hosts Cop27 reception at Buckingham Palace

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The Prime Minister plans to unleash a climate package worth millions of pounds to cement the UK’s COP legacy before meetings with world leaders in Egypt for the UN climate change conference.

Mr Sunak arrived in Sharm El-Sheikh ahead of talks with world leaders such as France’s Emmanuel Macron at COP27.

The Prime Minister will say: “The world came together in Glasgow with one last chance to create a plan that would limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. The question today is: can we summon the collective will to deliver on those promises?

“I believe we can. By honouring the pledges we made in Glasgow, we can turn our struggle against climate change into a global mission for new jobs and clean growth.

“And we can bequeath our children a greener planet and a more prosperous future. That’s a legacy we could be proud of.”

Mr Sunak will host an event to launch the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, a new group initially comprising 20 countries.

They will meet twice a year to track commitments on the landmark Forests and Land Use declaration made at COP26 in Glasgow last year, which aims to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030.

The UK will also commit £90 million for conservation in the Congo Basin, a vital tropical rainforest which is home to tropical plants and several endangered species, such as mountain gorillas.

Mr Sunak is set to confirm £65 million in funding for the Nature, People and Climate Investment Fund, which supports indigenous and local forest communities.

The Prime Minister plans to meet Kenya’s President William Ruto to commit funding on a number of green investment projects, which include new solar and geothermal power plants in Kenya.

Mr Sunak will hold a series of bilateral meetings, including with President Macron and Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni.

He will also attend a roundtable discussion focused on energy transition partnerships, and will deliver a national plenary statement later in the day setting out the UK’s climate commitments.

Mr Sunak’s appearance at the summit, which began yesterday, was welcomed after uncertainty over whether he would attend.

He initially said he would remain in Britain to focus on “depressing domestic challenges” ahead of the November 17 Autumn statement.

But he U-turned last week after pressure from green groups and Government climate advisers.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, COP26 President Alok Sharma and Environment Secretary Therese Coffey are set to make an appearance at the conference before it finishes on November 18.

They will play a key role in strengthening the view of the UK’s green pledges after a year of rowing back on commitments.

Climate campaigners welcomed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision last month to reintroduce a ban on fracking after Liz Truss ended the moratorium on shale gas.

Many have called on the Government to go further by ending the licensing of new gas and oil projects in the North Sea and rejecting a planning application for a new coal mine in Cumbria.

Rachel Kennerley, international climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:

“With the climate clock ticking ever closer to midnight, tougher action to slash planet-heating emissions is now more urgent than ever. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to attend the summit is a welcome step, but he must back it up with bold government action.

“This must include rejecting a new coal mine in Cumbria, ending UK funding for a hugely damaging gas project in Mozambique, and committing more money to poorer nations on the frontlines of a crisis they have done the least to cause.

“Fast-tracking the transition to a cleaner, greener future will also bring huge benefits for people and the economy and help provide long-term solutions to the cost of living and energy crises.”

Ms Kennerley said Mr Sunak should also remove barriers to onshore wind and solar.

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