British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was abruptly rushed out of the COP27 event on Monday, leaving dozens of audience members baffled at the strange turn of events.
"UK prime minister @RishiSunak has just been rushed out of the room by his aides during the middle of the launch for forests partnership at #COP27," Leo Hickman, Director of UK-based Carbon Brief, said in a tweet.
According to Hickman who posted a video of the incident, Sunak was on stage for a climate change event when his aides interrupted him. In quick succession two of his aides came and persuaded Sunak to leave the event.
"About 2 mins before he left, an aide came onto stage and was whispering in his ear for more than a minute...there was a discussion going on about, it seems, whether to leave at that moment. Sunak stayed but another aide made decision to go back to him and urge him to leave," he added.
Harry Cole, political editor at The Sun, later shared the video on his Twitter handle and said the Downing Street sources told him that it was “no biggie”, just a late decision.
“Downing Street sources insist this was no biggie but a late decision to meet with Germans and South Africans. Despite the imagery...,” Cole said.
There was no official statement from Downing Street on the video.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, or COP27, opened in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.
The first non-white British Prime Minister reached Sharm El-Sheikh after making a U-turn on attending the key climate meet in Egypt.
In an earlier release, Downing Street said Sunak will urge countries to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact and set out his intention to make the UK a clean energy superpower during the climate summit.
The UK has already cut carbon emissions faster than any other G7 country, with renewable sources like wind and solar now making up more than 40 percent of our energy supply - a four-fold increase on a decade ago.
As the UK hands over the presidency to Egypt, Rishi Sunak will urge leaders gathering in Sharm el-Sheikh not to backslide on the promise of COP26, where countries came together to sign the landmark Glasgow Climate Pact.
Sunak is slated to hold meetings with fellow world leaders to discuss new partnerships on energy security, green technology and environmental protection, and is expected to announce further funding for conservation in threatened tropical rainforests and support for countries on the frontline of climate change.