Climate Conference COP26 postponed
The COP26 UN climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow in November has been postponed due to COVID-19.
With it, the preparatory session "Pre-COP26" and the event dedicated to young people: "Youth4Climate 2020: Driving Ambition", hosted by Italy, were also postponed.
This decision has been taken by representatives of the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), with the UK and its Italian partners.
Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow by the UK in partnership with Italy, will be set out in due course following further discussion with parties.
In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible.
Rescheduling will ensure all parties can focus on the issues to be discussed at this vital conference and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place. We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.
Italian Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea Protection, Sergio Costa, said: “Whilst we have decided to postpone COP26, including the Pre-COP and ‘Youth for the Climate’ event, we remain fully committed to meeting the challenge of climate change. Tackling climate change requires strong, global and ambitious action. Participation from the younger generations is imperative, and we are determined to host the ‘Youth for the Climate’ event, together with the Pre-COP and outreach events. We will continue to work with our British partners to deliver a successful COP26.”
COP26 President-Designate and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma said: “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. 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.”
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “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. Soon, economies will restart. This is a chance for nations to recover better, to include the most vulnerable in those plans, and a chance to shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient. In the meantime, we continue to support and to urge nations to significantly boost climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement.”
COP25 President, Minister Carolina Schmidt, said: “The decision of the Bureau on the postponement of COP26 is unfortunately a needed measure to protect all delegates and observers. Our determination is to make sure that the momentum for climate ambition will continue, particularly for the preparation and submissions of new NDCs this year.”
Milan – Pre-COP
Each Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is preceded by a preparatory meeting held about a month before, called Pre-Cop. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a selected group of countries with an informal setting to discuss and exchange views on some key political aspects of the negotiations to offer, to the extent possible, a political guidance for subsequent negotiations.
The Pre-COP will be attended by 35 to 40 countries, representatives of the UNFCCC Secretariat, the chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies of the Convention and a number of stakeholders who play a key role in the fight against climate change or in the transition to sustainable development.
Milan – “Youth4Climate 2020: Driving Ambition”
Almost 400 young people aged between 18 and 29 from the 197 member-countries of the UNFCCC (maximum limit 2 for country) will meet from 28 to 30 September, in Milan, to elaborate concrete proposals on topics that affect the negotiation process of Pre-COP26 in Milan and COP26 in Glasgow.
The meeting in Milan is part of the process of involvement of young people, which started in 2019, also thanks to the support of Italy, with the United Nations Youth Climate Summit, held in New York on 21 September 2019.
The event will offer young people from all over the world the opportunity to develop concrete proposals for Pre-COP26 in Milan and COP26 in Glasgow. The first two days will be dedicated to working groups, while the last day to a discussion between the young delegates and the Ministers attending the Pre-COP26.
The selection of the young participants will be carried out by the Office of the UN Secretary General's Youth Envoy in collaboration with YOUNGO (the Youth Constituency at the UNFCCC), and an ad hoc Advisory Committee that is being set up. Italy will support the travel and accommodation expenses of the selected participants.
The Uk-Italy partnership
United Kingdom will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow (9-20November), with Italy hosting the Youth Event and the Pre-COP Summit, which will be held in Milan from 28 September – 2 October 2020.
The partnership (decided at the end of the Cop25 in Madrid in December 2019) will focus on promoting tangible action that brings to life the transformational change required to unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement.
Glasgow - COP26
Five years later the historical Paris Agreement, the UK Government’s decision to host COP26 in Glasgow reflects the UK-wide commitment for urgent climate change. Expertise from across the globe will convene in Glasgow alongside heads of state, climate experts, campaigners and entrepreneurs, to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.
Italian Ministry of Enviroment
Directorate General for Climate, Energy and Air
Division III – European affairs and international actions on climate
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
For more information on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 2015 Paris Agreements and the previous Conferences of the Parties, visit our section on “Negoziato per il clima” (in Italian): https://www.minambiente.it/pagina/negoziato-il-clima