COP26 President Alok Sharma has stated that the challenges of the coronavirus will not postpone United Nations plans to tackle climate change.
Sharma, who is also UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, spoke today at the opening ceremony of the June Momentum for Climate Change, a series of online events hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Sharma said: “We all understand the extraordinary circumstances that we’re in, as to why we’ve had to postpone COP26 but again I just want to echo the words of other colleagues here.
“We’re absolutely not postponing action on tackling climate change.
“The climate crisis hasn’t taken time off but, and I think this is the positive piece, there is still time for us collectively to define the future.”
Sharma said the UN is committed to working with all parties and stakeholders to accelerate climate action in 2020 and in 2021 leading up to the rescheduled COP26 event in November next year.
He wants more countries to submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs) committing to further cuts in carbon emissions by 2030.
Sharma added: “We want countries to set out those longer-term visions for emissions reductions, for ambitious long- term strategies, and actually to step up action to help the most vulnerable in society to adapt to the changing climate.
“Developed countries absolutely have to meet and move beyond this totemic $100bn per year climate finance goal.”
Sharma is planning to set out a roadmap that sets out the UK presidency’s ambitions for COP26.
He said: “Working together, I think we can make progress faster towards that clean, resilient recovery that we all want to see and I look forward to welcoming you to COP26 but also working closely in terms of the drumbeat of action needed leading up to November next year.”