New dates for COP26 – UK presidency sets sights on November 2021

Alok Sharma

Following delays due to COVID-19, the UK Presidency has rescheduled the COP26 negotiations to now take place in Glasgow, November 2021.

Since taking the decision to delay COP26 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK presidency has been working with Bureau members, Group Chairs, Parties, Non-Party stakeholders, delivery partners and many more groups to arrange a new date for the negotiations. The Presidency’s primary considerations have been to safeguard the health and safety of COP26 participants, to ensure inclusiveness and maximise the potential to build climate ambition.

The UK Presidency is now proposing to hold COP26 in Glasgow, between 1-12 November 2021. According to the Presidency, “this date [presents] the lowest risk of further postponement, and the best chance of delivering an inclusive and ambitious COP.” The UK team also reaffirmed the need to accelerate international climate action:

The postponement of COP26 should not mean postponement of climate action. The science is clear that we must urgently scale up action to respond to the threat of climate change, particularly for the most vulnerable countries and communities at the frontline of climate impacts.

– COP26 UK Presidency

COP26 is the most important international meeting on climate change since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, as it’s the year all parties are set to replenish their nationally determined contributions – reaffirming their commitment to meeting the Paris goals.

In the run up to November 2021, 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 its Italian partners to harness incoming G7 and G20 presidencies in driving climate ambition.

Sonam Wangdi, from the Kingdom of Bhutan, who chairs the Least Developed Countries group, said in the Guardian: “The postponement of climate negotiations should not be taken as postponement of climate action. Climate action has been delayed long enough … To focus on recovering from the COVID-19 crisis while ignoring action to address the climate crisis would only lead to more devastation in the future.”

The decision on the new date comes as the UK Government announces 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. They will advise the UK Government and inspire action from their sectors ahead of the conference. The Friends of COP include Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Action, Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.

Read more about COP26.

Photo: Policy Exchange

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