King Charles to attend Cop28 opening ceremony in Dubai

UK monarch will deliver opening address and hold meetings with regional leaders

King Charles, who attended Cop26 in Glasgow, will travel to the UAE for Cop28. Getty Images
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King Charles III is to make an opening speech at the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai, Buckingham Palace announced on Wednesday.

The monarch will address world leaders at the opening ceremony on December 1.

After his speech, he will “take the opportunity to have meetings with regional leaders”, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said.

The king, who is widely known for his environmental activism, was invited to Cop28 by President Sheikh Mohamed.

It is understood King Charles could raise issues concerning the conflict in Gaza and Israel.

But his main focus will be on climate as for the past five decades the king has “championed action for a sustainable future”, according to a royal source.

“His majesty believes that everyone has a role to play in tackling even the most complex environmental challenges facing our world,” the source said.

“The king’s unique ability to bring people together has proved a powerful way to find solutions and inspire people and organisations at all levels and all around the world.”

It is understood he will attend the reception to launch the inaugural Cop 28 Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum.

The forum is a strategic partner with King Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative, which he founded when he was the Prince of Wales in 2020 as a coalition to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future for nature, people and the planet.

As Prince he previously delivered the opening address at Cop26 in Glasgow in 2021 and Cop21 in Paris in 2015. He missed Cop27 last year due to an agreement made while Liz Truss was prime minister, despite it being widely reported the monarch had hoped to attend in person.

He first visited the UAE in 1989 with his wife at the time, Diana, Princess of Wales, and was welcomed by UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The six-day trip, which included a stop in Kuwait, was intended to boost trade, and the royal couple enjoyed Emirati hospitality in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

British royal visits to the UAE - in pictures

The pair attended an official reception at the British embassy in Abu Dhabi, and another at the British consulate in Dubai, where they met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who at the time was Minister of Defence.

As Prince Charles, he visited the UAE again in 1999, 2007, 2014 and 2016. During his most recent trip, he and Camilla, then the Duchess of Cornwall, were treated to a tour of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, accompanied by Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, who was then Minister of State for Tolerance.

Updated: November 01, 2023, 1:51 PM