RISHI Sunak has been accused of “rolling back” on commitments to tackling climate change , as he also faces renewed calls to introduce a “meaningful” windfall tax on fossil fuel giants.

The Prime Minister has been ­criticised for “snubbing” the COP27 conference in Egypt next month, which his predecessor Liz Truss was due to attend along with world ­leaders such as US president Joe Biden and French president Emmanuel Macron.

Downing Street has also confirmed a decision by Truss to stop King Charles attending the global summit will not be revisited, with advice it would “not be the right occasion for the King to visit”.

The SNP has said Sunak is ­failing to show the personal leadership ­required by refusing to attend COP27, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon planning to attend the summit.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

The party’s COP27 spokesperson Deidre Brock also pointed to reports Sunak will not follow up on plans by Truss to ease onerous planning ­restrictions for onshore wind projects in England and that he has removed COP26 president Alok Sharma from his Cabinet.

The SNP MP said: “The stark ­contrast between Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership on tackling climate change – and Rishi Sunak’s complete failure of leadership is plain to see.

“The Tory Prime Minister has got off to the worst possible start on this issue – and must urgently change course. There is no more time to waste.

“Mr Sunak is sending an ­appalling signal by rolling back on the UK ­Government’s commitments to ­renewable energy, demoting climate change ministers from his cabinet, and failing to join world leaders at COP27.

“The climate emergency is the most important issue we face – and it’s ­inextricably linked to energy security and the cost of living crisis.

“The Prime Minister is failing to show the personal leadership ­required to drive forward the ­delivery of climate commitments – and by U-turning on plans to encourage ­onshore wind, he is actively damaging the UK’s efforts.”

Sunak insisted last week he must focus on the “depressing domestic challenges” rather than attend the COP27 summit.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to a south London hospital on Friday, he said: “The leadership that we have shown on the climate is unmatched almost along the world.

“It’s important to me that, as Prime Minister, we leave behind an ­environment that is better for our children and grandchildren. I’m very passionate about that. I’m very ­personally committed to it.

“I just think, at the moment, it’s right that I’m also focusing on the ­depressing domestic challenges we have with the economy.

“I think that’s what people ­watching would reasonably expect me to be ­doing as well.”

Brock added: “For 12 years, the Tory government has failed to take climate change seriously. Their lack of action, including the failure to properly invest in renewable energy has contributed to the UK’s ­soaring energy bills and winter blackout threats.

“Scotland needs independence to achieve our full potential as the ­European renewable energy powerhouse of the 21st century – and so we can use every lever to lead from the front on climate change, to the ­benefit of all our communities.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish Greens have warned a “meaningful” windfall tax on fossil fuel giants is more urgent than ever to help with a “long, cold winter ahead”.

The party said that while Sunak ­introduced such a levy on energy profits during his time as chancellor, it was “unfit for purpose”.

The fresh call comes after Shell last week reported its second-highest quarterly profit on record, with global profits reaching £8.2 billion between July and September. However, the business avoided paying the UK’s windfall tax as it said it had invested heavily in the North Sea.

Scottish Greens energy and ­environment spokesman Mark Ruskell said: “Without fundamental action from Westminster, this will be a long, hard winter for millions of households and families across ­Scotland and beyond.

The National: Mark Ruskell speaking in Holyrood.

“This is one of the wealthiest ­societies in the world, yet, as winter bites, the Tories are introducing cuts while many are already being forced to choose between heating and ­starving.

“Meanwhile, the oil and gas company executives are laughing their way to the bank while profiting from the misery, which is having a ­devastating impact on household bills and the world around us.”

Ruskell also warned that the awarding of new oil and gas exploration ­licences is “the worst kind of climate vandalism” and urged for a “full-scale restructuring” of the economy involving a shift away from fossil fuels.

He added: “One step we could take very quickly, which could make a big difference and fund the ­transition, would be a proper, meaningful ­windfall tax on the obscene profits that are being made.

“The money raised could be used to deliver real relief for people here and now while supporting a major investment in renewable energy and allowing us to finally break the link between fossil fuel prices and household bills.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The Energy Profits Levy – which comes on top of an existing 40% headline rate of tax for the industry – is expected to raise £17bn this year and next to help fund cost of living support for eight million people. We also want to see the sector ­reinvest its profits to support the economy, jobs and our energy security, which is why the more investment a firm makes into the UK, the less tax they will pay.”