Next UN climate summit to be delayed to November 2021, UK hosts propose

The Cop26 negotiations in Glasgow, UK, are likely to be held a full year later than planned, to allow time to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control

The presidency of the next UN climate summit is proposing to delay it by a full year, while the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control.

Subject to sign-off by the UN Climate Change bureau at a virtual meeting on Thursday, Cop26 will be held 1-12 November 2021 in Glasgow, UK.

The negotiations, to which governments are expected to bring updated national climate pledges, were originally scheduled for 9-20 November 2020.

As the extent of the Covid-19 crisis became clear, UN Climate Change announced on 1 April the summit would be postponed. After consulting public health experts and key participants, the British hosts have recommended holding the talks later rather than sooner.

“The primary considerations were to safeguard the health and safety of Cop26 participants, to ensure inclusiveness and to maximise the potential to build climate ambition,” according to a leaked letter signed by Cop26 envoy John Murton and lead negotiator Archie Young.

“The incoming presidency has concluded that, given the uneven spread of Covid-19, this date would present the lowest risk of further postponement, and the best chance of delivering an inclusive and ambitious Cop.”

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