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UN climate change conference COP26 postponed due to Covid-19

“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.”

The COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, in November has been postponed due to Covid-19.

The conference has been pushed back to 2021 following a decision by the UN’s convention on climate change and the UK, but no specific date named.

Around 30,000 delegates including politicians, climate experts and campaigners had planned to attend to agree new co-ordinated plans to tackle climate change.

The gathering of world leaders was due to be the biggest the UK has ever hosted, taking place over four days in November in Glasgow.

Plans for it had been put on the backburner for some weeks, as governments around the world diverted resources to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the UK government, 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. In a statement, it added: “We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.

COP26 (@COP26) President-Designate and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma (@AlokSharma_RDG) said: “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.”

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa (@PEspinosaC) 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.”

Italian Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea Protection, Sergio Costa, said: “Whilst we have decided to postpone COP26, including the Pre-COP and ‘Youth for the Climate’ event, we remain fully committed to meeting the challenge of climate change.

“Tackling climate change requires strong, global and ambitious action. Participation from the younger generations is imperative, and we are determined to host the ‘Youth for the Climate’ event, together with the Pre-COP and outreach events.

“We will continue to work with our British partners to deliver a successful COP26.”

COP25 President, Minister Carolina Schmidt (@CarolaSchmidtZ), explained: “The decision of the Bureau on the postponement of COP26 is unfortunately a needed measure to protect all delegates and observers.

“Our determination is to make sure that the momentum for climate ambition will continue, particularly for the preparation and submissions of new NDCs this year.”

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