The UN climate conference COP26 will now be held between 1 and 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, after being postponed due to COVID-19.
A consultation with UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) members, delivery partners and the international climate community helped inform the decision, which was announced at the end of last week by the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC.
COP26 was originally set to take place in November 2020, but given the impact of COVID-19 on the UK and the world decided that it was no longer possible to hold “an ambitious, inclusive COP26”.
The move was broadly welcomed by the energy sector, with RenewableUK’s head of policy and regulation Rebecca Williams calling it “disappointing” but the “right decision”.
Similarly, the Energy Networks Association said that “safety must come first and this is an entirely understandable decision", but added that “although COP-26 has been postponed, the UK must continue to maintain our relentless long-term focus on innovation and investment in low carbon network infrastructure that has seen the UK become a global superpower of renewable energy.”
This is a call that has been echoed throughout the pandemic, with the need to focus on a clean, green recovery clear.
COP26 president and energy secretary, Alok Sharma, said that while its right to focus on COVID-19 at the moment, 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.
"The steps we take to rebuild our economies will have a profound impact on our societies’ future sustainability, resilience and wellbeing and COP26 can be a moment where the world unites behind a clean resilient recovery.”