LONDON: King Charles III will not travel to next month’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
A report released late on Saturday said the decision came after UK Prime Minister Liz Truss “objected” to the avid environmentalist monarch attending.
Britain’s new monarch, who took the throne after his mother Queen Elizabeth II died last month, had intended to deliver a speech at the November 6-18 gathering, the Sunday Times reported.
But the plan was reportedly axed after Truss opposed it during a personal audience with Charles at Buckingham Palace last month and on the advice of Number 10 advisers.
However, Sky News reported that palace sources said any suggestion of disagreement between the new monarch and prime minister was “categorically untrue” and that the decision was “agreed in consultation.”
A Number 10 source told Sky News: “The idea the prime minister gives orders to the King is ridiculous.”
And according to the Sky report, there have been talks over whether Charles could play a role in the climate conference in a different way.
The decision comes amid speculation Britain’s new leader, already under fire over her economic plans which have sparked market turmoil, could controversially scale back the country’s climate change commitments.
Her newly assembled cabinet contains a number of ministers who have expressed skepticism about the so-called 2050 net zero goals, while Truss herself is seen as less enthusiastic about the policy than predecessor Boris Johnson.
The Sunday Times said she is unlikely to attend COP27 — the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Britain hosted the last summit in the Scottish city Glasgow, when Charles, the late queen and his son William all addressed the event.
The newspaper said the episode was “likely to fuel tensions” between Charles and Truss, but cited a government source who claimed the audience had been “cordial” and there had “not been a row.”
Meanwhile, a royal source told the paper: “It is no mystery that the king was invited to go there.
“He had to think very carefully about what steps to take for his first overseas tour, and he is not going to be attending COP(27).”
Both Downing Street and Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the Times report.
Under convention in Britain, all overseas official visits by members of the royal family are undertaken in accordance with advice from the government.
Charles III is a committed environmentalist with a long history of campaigning for better conservation, organic farming and tackling climate change.
* With AFP