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MPs urge UK Ministers to ensure the climate crisis remains a top priority despite the postponement of COP26

“By delaying the summit, it must not lead to the climate crisis slipping down the agenda for governments around the world.”

The issue of tackling climate change should not be ignored and should remain at the top of UK Ministers’ in-trays, despite the postponement of COP26, a group a MPs has urged.

It was announced last week that the UN’s climate change COP26 conference, which was due to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, was to be postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

A group of cross-party MPs that form part of the government’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have now warned Ministers to not fall back on their green pledges.

The Chairman of the EAC, Philip Dunne MP, has written to COP26 President Alok Sharma MP, on current progress for delivering key outputs of the conference.

With expectations that COP26 will be rescheduled for 2021, the extra time gives the UK an opportunity to deliver greater success in the talks, the EAC said in a statement. However, it is vital that the delay does not lead to the climate crisis slipping down the list of priorities, it added.

Despite the postponement, a number of commitments under the Paris Agreement are due to be delivered this year. These include the enhancement of governments’ nationally determined contributions, the invitation to provide long-term strategies, the pathways to decarbonisation to net zero in 2050, and the promise of $100 billion a year to help the poorest countries green their economies. The Committee is asking what progress has been made on delivering these core objectives for COP26.

Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee (@CommonsEAC), Philip Dunne MP (@Dunne4Ludlow), said: “The decision to postpone COP26 is a sad unfortunate necessity, due to the global impact of Coronavirus. There were a host of challenges ahead to have made COP26 the success it needs to be, given widespread restrictions imposed around the world.

“By delaying the summit, it must not lead to the climate crisis slipping down the agenda for governments around the world. The UK must continue to show global leadership in raising the pace and ambition towards achieving our net-zero ambitions and encourage other countries to do the same.

“The extra time can put us in a stronger position to make a lasting success of COP, building stronger alliances with other economies around the world and urge them to do as much as they possibly can to forge a low-carbon future. Taking on the climate emergency is not just a domestic task – we must all come together as a global community to protect the environment.”


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