Friends of the Earth Scotland & Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland statement reacting to the announcement of new dates for the UN Climate Summit, COP26, now scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November 2021, a year later than planned.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church commented,

“Given the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s right to delay COP26 until it is safe to hold the UN climate talks in a way that ensures full global south participation. However, rich country’s governments must not use the now considerable delay to avoid taking urgent action to reduce emissions at home and provide badly needed finance for climate action in developing countries. New, ambitious national pledges, as required under the Paris Agreement should be submitted as soon as possible this year, and must reflect countries’ fair share of climate action.

“The coronavirus crisis has painfully exposed the common injustices at the heart of the climate crisis, and domestic and global inequalities, and shown more clearly than ever the need for deep, transformative change that puts people and nature over corporate interests. Climate justice must therefore be at the very heart of the Scottish and UK Governments plans for economic recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus, and their input to COP26.”

Aaron Kiely, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said:

“The postponement of the climate talks cannot come at the cost of international climate action – it doesn’t give governments a get-out clause from their international responsibilities. The UK Government must commit to doing its fair share of climate action, and should urgently make public how it will do this.

“People and communities around the world are already building solutions to the climate crisis. Now, during a pandemic, it’s people and communities again showing the scale of change that is possible. People will continue to co-operate to solve problems, governments should follow their lead because there is a way out of both crises if we collaborate, listen to the science, and stop losing time.”

Notes to Editors
1. The UK Government’s letter to UNFCCC focal points outlining its proposal for COP26 to be held 1-12 November 2021 is available at:

2. The UK Government’s announcement of a delay to the UN climate negotiations on 1 April 2020 is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cop26-postponement

 Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.