PRIME Minister Rishi Sunak has U-turned on his decision not to attend the COP27 climate summit in Egypt. 

No 10 initially said Sunak was too busy preparing for the November 17 budget to attend the event which opens on Sunday. 

However, the decision was widely criticised by environmentalists. 

In a post on social media, the PM said: "There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change.

"There is no energy security without investing in renewables. That is why I will attend @COP27P next week: to deliver on Glasgow's legacy of building a secure and sustainable future."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be at the event alongside many world leaders including US President Joe Biden and France's Emmanuel Macron.

Boris Johnson also confirmed he would be at the event in Sharm El Sheikh. 

On Tuesday, Sunak's official spokesman said "significant progress" was being made on the financial statement. 

The SNP's Deidre Brock said the decision was a "welcome U-turn". 

She said: "This is a welcome U-turn from Rishi Sunak - his third in just 8 days - after a monumental error. 

READ MORE: Boris Johnson woos MPs with thank-you drinks in Westminster office

"Whilst the Prime Minister's decision not to attend COP27 raised eyebrows across the world stage, it was not particularly surprising given the UK government's habit of rolling back of key commitments to tackle climate change, and, frankly, not taking this emergency seriously enough. 

"The Tories' failure to properly invest in renewable energy has contributed to the UK's soaring energy bill crisis and winter blackout threats."

The Scottish Green's environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said Sunak was "shamed" into attending the summit. 

He said: "After days of flip-flopping, the Prime Minister may have finally been shamed into going to COP, but being in the room is not enough. He will be judged on the policies he implements and the actions that he takes. 

"The government that he leads is doubling down on fossil fuels and is even in the process of granting over 100 new oil and gas exploration licences. That's not the leadership that's needed, it's climate vandalism.

"There is a responsibility on the biggest polluters and historic polluters to act, and that has to include the UK.

"What we need is a proper and meaningful windfall tax to fund a just transition to renewables and an energy sector that works for people and the planet."