UN climate talks pushed back to November 2021 due to coronavirus

Observers caution against inaction due to the delay, with the UN warning that time is not on the planet’s side.

Critical United Nations climate negotiations, at which nations were expected to ramp up plans to combat global warming, have been pushed back a full year to November 2021.

The deferment has been done in light of the coronavirus pandemic and other concerns, British politician Alok Sharma, who is also the president of the talks, announced on Twitter on Thursday.


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“Pleased to have agreed a new date for @COP26,” wrote Sharma, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. “COP26 will now take place between 1 and 12 November 2021.”

While many climate observers consider the delay understandable given the circumstances, they warn that any postponement could risk further stalling time-sensitive actions needed by countries across the globe to slow global warming.

The UK proposed the new dates for the Glasgow conference – which had already been suspended – in a letter to the UN climate forum, citing health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the need for more time to prepare for the 30,000-strong meeting.    

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