Wednesday 31 March 2021 7:24 pm

Government denies reports that Cop26 climate summit could be postponed

The government has denied reports today that the UN Cop26 climate summit in the UK could be postponed past November.

A report from Sky News today suggested that Boris Johnson was trying to keep the Glasgow summit on-track for November, but that options were being considered to postpone it or conduct it virtually in the face of Covid uncertainty.

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The summit has already been postponed once, after it was supposed to be in November 2020.

The government moved to deny any chance of postponement, however a spokesperson did not rule out the format being altered.

A government spokesman said: “We are working on the basis of Cop26 being held in person this November, while closely monitoring the Covid situation.

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“The summit team is working closely with all partners and exploring what different scenarios might mean for Cop26 and how we plan for that, whilst putting the health of the participants and the local community first. We are not looking to postpone the summit.”

The last UN climate summit had more than 20,000 attendees, including international heads of state, ministers and civil servants.

There is still much uncertainty about what travel restrictions will be in place by November or how the vaccine rollouts will progress in countries across the world.

Making things even more difficult is that Covid restrictions for Glasgow will be determined by Nicola Sturgeon and not Johnson.

Labour MP, and Westminster’s business committee chair, Darren Jones told Sky News: “One important aspect of all Cops is that every country has the same level of access around the table – whether you are the president of the United States or the president of Madagascar – thrashing out the global agreement.

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“Some of the smaller countries, some of the more vulnerable countries, rely on NGOs to amplify their voice.

“So if we end up with just national delegations and not other interested stakeholders there is a risk to securing the right kind of agreement.”