King Charles is set to play a prominent role in the Cop28 climate summit, located in the United Arab Emirates, marking his first major address on the climate crisis since ascending to the throne. This decision comes a year after the British government, under Prime Minister Liz Truss, advised him not to attend the preceding Cop27 summit in Egypt. At the time, it was suggested that the King was disappointed with this directive.
While he refrained from attending Cop27, King Charles did host a pre-summit reception at Buckingham Palace for leading experts. Now, he has been given the green light by Downing Street to attend Cop28, where he will deliver the opening address at the world climate action summit.
This opportunity to participate in Cop28 comes as a result of an invitation from the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and follows the request of the UK government. King Charles will be present from November 30 to December 1. The visit will provide an occasion for him to engage with regional leaders in advance of the summit.
During his stay in the UAE, King Charles will attend a reception for the launch of the inaugural Cop28 business and philanthropy climate forum, an event running alongside the world climate action summit. This forum is being hosted by the Cop28 presidency in strategic partnership with the Sustainable Markets Initiative, an organization founded by the King during his time as the Prince of Wales.
The King’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis has been evident in his previous engagements. In 2021, as Prince of Wales, he delivered the opening address at Cop26 in Glasgow, where he called on global leaders to adopt a “warlike footing” to combat climate change. In 2015, at Cop21 in Paris, he advocated for a “vast military-style campaign” to address climate breakdown, urging leaders to commit “trillions, not billions, of dollars.”
The King’s unwavering dedication to environmental causes has been acknowledged and celebrated. In 2021, the late Queen recognized his contributions to environmental issues in a video address to the conference.
In conclusion, King Charles’s participation in the Cop28 climate summit is a significant step in his ongoing commitment to addressing the climate crisis and promoting global climate action.