New York

01 April 2020

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General - on the postponement of COP26

The Secretary-General supports the decision of the United Kingdom and the UNFCCC Bureau to delay COP26, which was due to be held in November, in Glasgow. As hundreds of thousands of people fall seriously ill and many die from COVID-19, the need to suppress the virus and safeguard lives is our foremost priority.
The Secretary-General said we must continue in our efforts to increase ambition and action on climate change especially as countries take measures to recover from this crisis. The science on climate has not changed, emissions are now at a record high and impacts are multiplying and will compound the socio-economic challenges that this crisis will intensify. The COVID-19 crisis reinforces the importance of science and evidence informing government policies and decision-making. The science makes clear that human behavior is altering the earth system regulatory ability, having impact on lives and livelihoods, from our health to our global economy. This dramatic human crisis is also an example of how vulnerable countries, societies and economies are to existential threats.
Countries must work to protect the health of people and the planet has never been more at risk.
Solidarity and greater ambition is needed now more than ever to transition to a sustainable, resilient low carbon economy that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Secretary-General will continue to work tirelessly with Prime Minister Johnson, Member States, civil society, youth, and businesses to ensure that we recover better and emerge from this global crisis stronger.
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General