The critical UN Climate Conference of Parties (COP26) scheduled to take place in Glasgow, in November, postponed until 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.
“The COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November has been postponed due to COVID-19,” stated an official message by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to UN member states and observers.
“This decision has been taken by the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC, with the UK and its Italian partners. 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. 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.”
The COP26 meeting has been viewed as particularly critical both in light of the speed at which climate change is occuring, and the huge gap in mitigation commitments to slow its current pace. As the five year mark since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, countries were due to submit new, more ambitious long-term goals to reduce emissions at COP26.
Despite the delay, the head of the European Green Deal initiative of the European Commission, pledged to continue efforts towards dramatic reductions in carbon emissions by 2030. “We will not slow down our work domestically or internationally to prepare for an ambitious COP26, when it takes place”, said Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president for the European Green Deal in a statement.