UK Climate Minister leaves COP28 as climate talks reach final phase

Dubai, Dec 12 (IANS): UK Climate Minister Graham Stewart, who was attending the final phase of the two-week-long negotiations in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) here, has left the talks midway and returned to Westminster to attend the Rwanda vote, a critical vote on immigration policy back home home.

Media reports said that Stewart has returned to London from the climate summit in Dubai for the second reading of the contentious Rwanda Bill in the UK Parliament on Tuesday night.

A source told the BBC: “The UK's chief negotiator Alison Campbell continues to lead negotiations for the UK, and the UK government continues to be represented at a ministerial level at COP28 by Lord Benyon.”

The source added: “Lord Benyon and Alison Campbell remain in constant contact with minister Stuart, who is responsible for the final decision on key issues and retains responsibility for UK negotiations overall.”

Responding to reports that the UK Climate Minister has left the COP28 talks, Christian Aid’s Head of UK Advocacy, Jennifer Larbie, told IANS: “It’s shocking to see the UK Climate Minister leaving the COP28 talks early, just as crucial negotiations about a global fossil fuel phase-out reach crunch point. The UK has a proud history of being a key player at previous talks.

“Only last night Graham Stewart was describing the UK as a climate champion and today he’s not even here during the most important hours of the summit. Considering Rishi Sunak’s push for more oil and gas drilling in the North Sea, it’s very sad to see the UK soiling its credentials on climate change.”

Chiara Liguori, Oxfam's Senior Climate Change Policy Advisor, said: “There can be no more tragic outcome for UK climate diplomacy than this -- flying home from talks to avert a climate catastrophe at the most critical moment in an attempt to salvage a cruel and impractical policy.”



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Title: UK Climate Minister leaves COP28 as climate talks reach final phase

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