King Charles III is reportedly abandoning plans to attend and deliver a speech at the Cop27 climate change summit on the advice of Liz Truss.
The monarch, a veteran campaigner on environmental issues, had been invited to the 27th UN climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, next month. But the prime minister is understood to have raised objections during a personal audience at Buckingham Palace last month, according to the Sunday Times.
A senior royal source told the newspaper: “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 said the decision was made on the government’s advice and was “entirely in the spirit of being ever-mindful as King that he acts on government advice”. However, it remains “under active discussion” about how King Charles will make his presence felt at Cop27, which runs from 6 to 18 November.
Another source said the new monarch would be “personally disappointed” to miss the conference and was “all lined up to go”, with several engagements planned around his Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), which aims to persuade businesses to invest in environmentally friendly initiatives .
“The Queen gave an entirely non-political address at Cop last year… it sounds like he is not being given the choice. That is an error of judgment on the part of the government,” the Sunday Times was told.
The 73-year-old has played an active role in previous environmental summits. The King delivered the opening speech at Cop21 in Paris in 2015, calling for a “vast military-style campaign” to fight climate change and urging world leaders to commit “trillions, not billions, of dollars”.
He also agreed world leaders and businesses to encourage them to sign up to the landmark Paris climate agreement before the summit.
Last year, King Charles III delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of Cop26 in Glasgow, calling on world leaders to adopt a “warlike footing” to deal with the threat of climate change.
In the run-up to Cop26, I invited the US special envoy on climate, John Kerry, to Clarence House in London, in stark contrast to the government, which failed to send a minister when Kerry made a major speech at Kew.
The then Prince of Wales laid out the Terra Carta, or Earth charter, of environmental goals.
His work on rainforests and species conservation has also been taken up by his son Prince William.
During the platinum jubilee celebrations in June, the new Prince of Wales delivered a speech after pictures of the planet were projected on to Buckingham Palace.
William said at the time: “As I watch those extraordinary images, it does make me think of all the monumental and pioneering work of so many visionary environmentalists that have gone before.
“I’m so proud that my grandfather and my father have been part of those efforts.”
The summit would have been King Charles’s first overseas trip as sovereign.
It is standard protocol for the monarch to seek the guidance of the government before accepting an invitation overseas, a source told the Guardian.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism