Who is attending COP27? Country leaders and other attendees at 2022 Egypt climate change summit

Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Australia and Canada are reportedly not sending leaders - while China, India and Turkey are expected not to make an appearance

Around 90 heads of state have confirmed their attendance at the COP27 climate summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, according to the latest statement from Egyptian authorities.

Leaders and representatives of more than 190 countries, all the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), are expected in total.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made a huge U-turn on Wednesday (2 November) announcing he is now going to the conference after completely misreading the national mood when he initially said he would not be attending to focus on domestic issues.

However, it has been reported that some of the world’s biggest carbon polluters, including China and Japan, are likely not to attend the conference.

Here’s what world leaders have said so far - and who else could be attending the summit.

Some of the world’s biggest carbon polluters are likely not to attend COP27 (Composite: Mark Hall / NationalWorld)Some of the world’s biggest carbon polluters are likely not to attend COP27 (Composite: Mark Hall / NationalWorld)
Some of the world’s biggest carbon polluters are likely not to attend COP27 (Composite: Mark Hall / NationalWorld)

Which European leaders are attending?

French President Emmanuel Macron is a definite attendee of COP27 and will be playing an important role at the World Leaders Summit from 7 to 8 November,

Alongside the President of Senegal, Macky Sall and the Dutch PM Mark Rutte, Macron will be convening an event on accelerating adaptation in Africa - which is a key narrative at this COP.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is also going to COP, as well as the new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Turkey is likely to be represented by President Erdoğan. He dropped out of COP26 shortly before it started due to a dispute over security in Glasgow.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon will definitely be going and Denmark will be led by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who has just been re-elected.

The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will also be at the venue, launching an initiative with Nigeria on territorial resilience to drought at COP27, and the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will be there too.

Which other world leaders will be at COP27?

US President Biden has confirmed his attendance at COP27. However, Chinese President Jinping is not expected to attend, following a no-show at COP26 last year.

Climate Home News has reported that Argentina, Japan, South Korea and Mexico are not sending leaders, according to a document published by the Egyptian host on Tuesday (1 November).

Australia’s PM, Anthony Albanese will also not be attending. Speaking in Adelaide on Wednesday (2 November), Albanese said he would be criticised for not attending Parliament which coincides with the global summit this month.

He told reporters:  “I can’t be in all places at once,. And I am sure that if I was going people would be saying why aren’t I attending Parliament. I have a very busy schedule of Parliament then the international conferences then back to Parliament.”

Canada’s National Observer has also reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudau has decided to sit this one out. The Prime Minister’s Office told its reporters that the country’s hosting of an international biodiversity conference in Montreal later this year underscores the federal government’s commitment to climate change.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Modi is likely to attend COP27 and it was announced on Tuesday that Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will also attend.

Environmentalists cheered Lula’s election win on Sunday (30 October) after he campaigned on promises to protect the Amazon rainforest and restore Brazilian leadership on climate change. He defeated President Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing nationalist who has overseen rising deforestation and appointed climate change sceptics as ministers.

Who else will be at the conference?

The world has many more leaders on climate that could be attending the summit. For example, Leonardo DiCaprio turned heads in Glasgow last year when he turned up to COP26 and he could do so again this year in Sharm el-Sheikh.

King Charles III is not going to the summit, Downing Street has confirmed. However, it is still likely that there will be royals on the ground. Princess Beatrice appeared at COP26 last year where she teamed up with singer and environmental advocate Ellie Goulding. As for the King, it has been agreed that it’s not the “right occasion” for him to appear in a political arena.

One notable absence will be Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist who is known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation.

She said on Sunday: “I’m not going to COP27 for many reasons, but the space for civil society this year is extremely limited. The COPs are mainly used as an opportunity for leaders and people in power to get attention, using many different kinds of greenwashing.”