The 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) UN Climate conference scheduled to be attended by Indian and other world leaders in Glasgow later this year has now been postponed to November 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic following consultations with stake-holders, officials said on Friday.
Alok Sharma, business secretary in the Boris Johnson government and the COP26 president, said: “While we rightly focus on fighting the immediate crisis of the coronavirus, we must not lose sight of the huge challenges of climate change”.
“With the new dates for COP26 now agreed, we are working with our international partners on an ambitious roadmap for global climate action between now and November 2021. The steps we take to rebuild our economies will have a profound impact on our societies’ future sustainability, resilience and well-being and COP26 can be a moment where the world unites behind a clean resilient recovery”, he added.
The decision on the new date comes as the UK Government announced that over 25 experts in multiple global sectors will be advising the COP26 Presidency. The Friends of COP bring expertise from countries across six continents, including France, Barbados, Chad, Australia, India and Peru.
As the host of COP26 in November 2021, the officials said the UK will continue to work with all involved to increase climate action, build resilience and lower emissions. The new date will also allow the UK and Italian partners to harness incoming G7 and G20 presidencies in driving climate ambition.
UN climate change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “Our efforts to address climate change and Covid-19 are not mutually exclusive. If done right, the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis can steer us to a more inclusive and sustainable climate path”.