The UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland has been postponed due to uncertain times ahead amid the novel coronavirus, its president said Wednesday.
"The world is facing an unprecedented global challenge & countries are rightly focusing on fighting #COVID19. Due to this, #COP26 has been postponed," Alok Sharma said on Twitter.
Sharma said they will continue working across the board to tackle climate change as well as decide on a new date for the COP26 meetings.
"The postponement decision has been taken by representatives of the COP Bureau of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ), with the U.K. and its Italian partners," the British government said in a press release.
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said although COVID-19 is the most urgent threat the world is facing at the moment, it should not be forgotten that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term.
"In the meantime, we continue to support and to urge nations to significantly boost climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement," Espinosa added.
Mentioning that the Pre-COP and ‘Youth for the Climate’ events have also been postponed as well as COP26, Italy's Environment Minister Sergio Costa noted that they remain "fully committed" to meeting the challenge of climate change.
"Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow by the U.K. in partnership with Italy, will be set out in due course following further discussion with parties," the British government added in its statement.
COP26 was due to take place in Glasgow from Nov. 9-19.
By Burak Bir