Climate Action

COP26: New dates agreed for UN climate summit

COP26 will now take place between 1 and 12 November 2021 in Glasgow.

  • 28 May 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

COP26 will now take place between 1 and 12 November 2021 in Glasgow.

At the start of April, it was announced that COP26, due to take place in November 2020 in Glasgow UK, had been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus.

This week, the UK Government has announced that COP26 will now take place between 1 and 12 November 2021 in Glasgow.

The agreement followed consultation with UNFCCC members, delivery partners and the international climate community. 

Alok Sharma, COP26 President, said: “While we rightly focus on fighting the immediate crisis of the Coronavirus, we must not lose sight of the huge challenges of climate change.”

“The steps we take to rebuild our economies will have a profound impact on our societies’ future sustainability, resilience and wellbeing and COP26 can be a moment where the world unites behind a clean resilient recovery.”

The announcement comes after the UK Government sent a letter to the UNFCCC to ask for the year delay on the climate talks.

The letter laid out an ‘Overview Roadmap to COP26’ where they outlined plans to accelerate the flow of finance from high to low-carbon and resilient investments, improving access to finance especially for developing countries, and ensuring that support is enhanced and the ​$100bn climate finance goal​ is met.

Plans also included accelerating investment in clean energy in the power sector, and supporting communities in making a just transition away from coal.

The letter made it clear that despite COP26 being delayed they were not delaying action and commitment to the environment.

“Postponement of COP26 does not mean postponement of climate action. We must scale up action to respond to the climate emergency. It is vital that all Parties increase ambition by submitting enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies that chart a path to net zero.”

Nigel Topping, UK High Level Champion for COP26, spoke about the postponement of COP during Climate Action’s Virtual Panel ‘COP26: A Decade to Deliver.’

During the panel discussion when asked whether he believed COP26 would be a success, he replied: “We have a daunting task ahead of us. And I'm convinced there are millions of brilliant people working towards it. So I'm convinced that we will succeed.”

The UNFCCC have also stated their commitment to making COP a success. In a virtual meeting this week they said they will take forward crucial work to tackle climate change, despite the COVID-19 crisis.

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, said: “Our efforts to address climate change and COVID-19 are not mutually exclusive. If done right, the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis can steer us to a more inclusive and sustainable climate path.”


Do you want to hear from environmental and industry leaders to learn how the pandemic has affected climate and environmental diplomacy? Watch the full recording now of the ‘COP26: A Decade to Deliver’ virtual panel here.