COP26 climate summit postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Some 30,000 people, including 200 world leaders, had been due to attend the 10-day conference for crucial talks to halt rising global temperatures.

April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

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The UN's COP26 climate change summit due to take place Glasgow, Scotland in November has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the British government said on Wednesday.

"In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of Covid-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible," the government said in a statement.

The statement said that dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021 would be announced later. Reports in the British media indicated that the conference could be pushed back until 2021.

“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,” British energy minister and president of the COP26 conference, Alok Sharma, said.

“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.”

Some 30,000 people, including 200 world leaders, had been due to attend the 10-day conference for crucial talks to halt rising global temperatures.

A UN panel in 2018 concluded that avoiding global climate chaos needed a major shift in society and the world economy.

Global CO2 emissions needed to drop 45 per cent by 2030 and reach "net zero" by 2050, to limit temperature rises at 1.5 degrees Celsius -- the safe cap set as a goal in the 2015 Paris accord.

UN climate change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa said postponement was unavoidable but that the pandemic should not divert the world from trying to address the climate crisis.

"Covid-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, but we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term," she said.

Updated: April 2, 2020 01:29 AM

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