Thursday 28 May 2020 8:47 pm

UN confirms November 2021 date for landmark COP26 climate summit

The United Nations has tonight confirmed that the so-called COP26 climate summit will be held from 1 to 12 November 2021, a year later than originally planned, due to coronavirus.

The talks, which will be held in Glasgow, are widely tipped to be the most critical since 2015’s landmark Paris conference, with world leaders expected to increase their commitments to pledging greenhouse gas emissions.

The UK government, which will host the talks in partnership with Italy, proposed the new dates.

In a statement, business secretary and conference president Alok Sharma said: “While we rightly focus on fighting the immediate crisis of the Coronavirus, we must not lose sight of the huge challenges of climate change. 

“With the new dates for COP26 now agreed we are working with our international partners on an ambitious roadmap for global climate action between now and November 2021”.

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More aggressive rules of the cutting of emissions are required if countries are to meet the targets set out in Paris accords, which aim to cap the global temperature rise at two degrees.

On current commitments, the world is on course for a rise of three degrees this century, which scientists say would have a devastating impact on sea levels around the world.

Such an increase in temperature would also lead to a higher rate of extreme weather events and also lead to mass migration as regions become uninhabitable.

Sharma said that the steps the world’s economies take to rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic would have a “profound impact” on their future sustainability and resilience.

“COP26 can be a moment where the world unites behind a clean resilient recovery”, he added.