THE COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November has been has been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was made by the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), with the UK and its Italian partners.
A UNFCCC spokesperson commented on the announcement: “In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible.
“Rescheduling will ensure all parties can focus on the issues to be discussed at this vital conference and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place.
“We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.”
Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow by the UK in partnership with Italy, will be set out in due course following further discussion with parties.
COP26 President-Designate and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma commented: “The world is currently facing an unprecedented global challenge and countries are rightly focusing their efforts on saving lives and fighting COVID-19.
“That is why we have decided to reschedule COP26.
“We will continue working tirelessly with our partners to deliver the ambition needed to tackle the climate crisis and I look forward to agreeing a new date for the conference.”
Despite the news the organisers have assured they remain ‘fully committed to meeting the challenge of climate change.’
Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, added: “COVID-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, but we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term.
“Soon, economies will restart. This is a chance for nations to recover better, to include the most vulnerable in those plans, and a chance to shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient.
“In the meantime, we continue to support and to urge nations to significantly boost climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement.”
The announcement came only days after Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, called for the climate conference to be postponed due to the pandemic