King Charles dodges potential ‘constitutional crisis’ at climate talks

King Charles III “intended” to go to the COP27 climate conference and “make a big speech” in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, but by withdrawing he has avoided any possibility of a “constitutional crisis,” one biographer said news week.

Britain’s new monarch, 73, has spoken out openly on environmental issues dating back more than 50 years to 1970 and met world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021.

King Charles and Liz Truss
King Charles III and British Prime Minister Liz Truss attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022. Charles withdrew from the COP27, which is scheduled to take place in November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, after meeting Truss.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

At COP26, President Joe Biden spoke about Charles’ contribution to the debate, telling the future king, “We need you badly.”

Charles, in his own speech, called for the very same emergency COP27 summit, now set to take place in November 2022.

He told delegates in 2021: “I also hope that instead of waiting five years to come back. Why don’t you think about coming back next year so we can make even more progress?”

COP27 organizers appeared to take his advice, but Charles will not come to Egypt in person after meeting British Prime Minister Liz Truss, the palace confirmed on Saturday.

A story followed The Sunday Times Truss suggested at a meeting in September that he had “objected to the king’s plans.”

Robert Jobson, author of Karl at seventysaid news week There may be less conflict in the decision-making process than the newspaper indicates, and the UK government’s policy on the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine may have been a factor.

Jobson said: “As Prince of Wales, he had intended to go to the COP and make a big speech. Being the Prince of Wales is a very different world from being the king.

“As a king, there can be a situation where both [Charles and Truss] can see a conflict of interest between the government and the head of state in saying things that may conflict with a policy that may need to happen at the moment due to the bad gas issues.

“There may be things that they need to do in relation to fracking or coal, or things that conflict with things that the prince wanted to say, which would mean he gets in trouble with the government,” Jobson said .

“Which of course he can’t be because it’s his government. The fact is that he is now in the role of king and cannot come into conflict with his own government because that would create a constitutional crisis.”

There’s more going on than Charles’ transition from Prince of Wales to King, as Queen Elizabeth II was also due to appear at COP26 in November 2021.

The then 95-year-old monarch only retired due to ill health but nevertheless recorded a speech which was played to delegates in Glasgow.

Joe Biden and Prince William at COP26
US President Joe Biden meets Prince William at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021. King Charles III also met Biden at the conference but withdrew from COP27 after meeting Liz Truss.
Alberto Pezzali-Pool/Getty Images

Elizabeth said: “This is a duty I am particularly pleased to fulfil, as the impact of the environment on human progress was a subject dear to my dear late husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

“I well remember him saying to an academic meeting in 1969: ‘If the world’s pollution situation is not critical at the moment, it is as certain as anything can be that the situation will become increasingly unbearable within a very short period of time. .. If we don’t meet this challenge, all other problems will become insignificant.’

“It fills me with great pride that the leadership role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Sean Coughlin, a BBC royal correspondent, wrote of Charles: “This year he has to keep his powder dry after what is at least superficially presented as a contentious agreement that he should not go.

“Although it’s worth noting that it’s not about attending ‘in person’, which could leave the door open for other virtual posts.

“There will inevitably be speculation that, despite all the constitutional smoothing, this really disappointed the king. He’s put his heart and soul into environmental issues like this for decades,” Coughlin said.

“And it could also raise the prospect of early tensions between a new king and a new prime minister.”

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry or their family that you would like our experienced Royal Correspondents to answer? Email royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you.

https://www.newsweek.com/king-charles-swerves-potential-constitutional-crisis-climate-talks-cop27-prime-minister-liz-truss-1748299 King Charles dodges potential ‘constitutional crisis’ at climate talks

Rick Schindler

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