Over the weekend, reports circulated that Liz Truss had advised King Charles not to attend this year’s COP27.
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP27, will take place from 6 to 18 November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. It will see leaders from across the world gather to discuss how best to tackle the climate crisis.
A report published by the Sunday Times claimed that the UK Prime Minister had raised objections to him attending next month’s conference.
It was thought that King Charles had been invited and planning to attend, but had changed these plans on advice from the Prime Minister.
A “senior 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.”
They added that the decision was made “entirely in the spirit of being ever-mindful as King that he acts on government advice.”
Another source reportedly said that Charles would be “personally disappointed” to miss the conference and was “all lined up to go.”
What has the government said?
The government, however, has denied claims that Truss asked the King to stay away from the summit.
According to Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke, it was mutually agreed that he wouldn’t attend.
“That is a decision that has been made amicably, as far as I am aware, between the Palace and the Government,” he told Times Radio. “The suggestions this morning that he was ordered to stay away are simply not true.”
Another source claimed that it was “ridiculous” to suggest that the Prime Minister “gives orders” to the monarch.
King Charles at COP26
King Charles has long been regarded as an environmentalist and has been vocal about the climate crisis since 1970.
Last year, he gave a speech at the COP26 climate conference, which was held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the future King told attendees that time had “quite literally run out” to address the climate crisis.
“Climate change and biodiversity loss are no different,” he said. “In fact, they pose an even greater existential threat to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing.”
Previously conferences have attracted criticism from some for neglecting to emphasize the significance of animal agriculture in climate crisis mitigation.
Livestock farming is responsible for at least 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and is also a primary driver of deforestation and biodiversity loss. A 2018 study from the University of Oxford found that western countries need to cut beef consumption by 90 percent to avoid climate breakdown.
Despite this, speakers neglected to mention that we need to change our eating habits, a decision that was slammed by World Animal Protection last year.
“A change is needed in our food system to protect animals, their habitats, and our climate, but this was nowhere formally on the agenda or negotiations,” campaigns manager Lindsay Duncan said in a statement. “World leaders must stop ignoring the huge climate impact of factory farming and biodiversity loss and include animal agriculture on the agenda of future COP negotiations.”
Animal agriculture may be higher up on the agenda this year, however, as it was recently announced that vegan organization ProVeg will have its own pavilion. The group hopes to shine a light on the role of food production in the climate crisis.