A climate summit that had been due to take place in Glasgow in November has been postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak (Reuters). The decision was taken by UN officials, including UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa and UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma, who is president-designate of the meeting (BBC). Officials decided to push back the summit to give governments more time to prepare and to be able to focus on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic (Reuters). Alok Sharma, who is due to serve as president of the conference, COP26, said that she “looks forward to agreeing a new date for the conference” (Reuters).
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that it was a “disappointing decision, but absolutely the right one as we all focus on the fight against #coronavirus” (AP). U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stresses that safeguarding lives “is our foremost priority” but countries must step up action on climate change as they recover from the pandemic (AP). Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus, which was due to host the talks, is now set to become a temporary hospital to house patients affected by Covid-19 (BBC).The meeting in Glasgow would have been held five years after the 2015 Paris climate accord was agreed (AP).