The COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November has been postponed to an as yet unconfirmed date next year due to COVID-19.
The decision was taken by representatives of the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), with the UK and its Italian partners.
The organisers said dates for a rescheduled conference in Glasgow next year will be set out in due course following further discussion with parties.
Alok Sharma, COP26 president-designate and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “The world is currently facing an unprecedented global challenge and countries are rightly focusing their efforts on saving lives and fighting COVID-19.
“That is why we have decided to reschedule COP26. We will continue working tirelessly with our partners to deliver the ambition needed to tackle the climate crisis and I look forward to agreeing a new date for the conference.”
Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change executive secretary, said that while COVID-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term.
She said: “Soon, economies will restart. This is a chance for nations to recover better, to include the most vulnerable in those plans, and a chance to shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient.
“In the meantime, we continue to support and to urge nations to significantly boost climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement.”