4 hours ago
A key climate summit in Glasgow will be delayed until next year due to disruption caused by the coronavirus.
The announcement was made in a joint statement from the UK and UN after a “virtual” meeting of officials.
Dozens of world leaders were due to attend the COP26 gathering that was set to run in Glasgow from November 9 this year.
It is expected that the conference will now take place by the middle of next year.
- ‘Another year of failure’
- Government insists COP26 summit will be in Glasgow
- Sturgeon and Gove make climate summit pledge
As the virus has spread around the world, there has been a growing expectation in recent weeks that the COP26 talks would be delayed.
Around 30,000 delegates, journalists and environmental campaigners were due in Scotland for the meeting.
However the changing priorities that coronavirus has forced on governments can be clearly seen in Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC) which was due to host the talks.
It is now set to become a temporary hospital to house patients affected by Covid-19.
The decision to move COP26 was taken by UN officials, including UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa and UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma, who is president-designate of the meeting.
“The world is currently facing an unprecedented global challenge and countries are rightly focusing their efforts on saving lives and fighting Covid-19,” Mr Sharma said in a statement.
“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.”