• Postponement of COP26 climate change meeting brings potential silver linings

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The COP Bureau of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, along with British and Italian governments, have agreed to postpone the COP26 climate change talks that were scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November this year. The global COVID-19 crisis is the reason for the postponement of the talks, which were seen as a highly important opportunity for governments across the world to agree tougher climate change mitigation targets. A new date has not yet been announced, but the talks are expected to take place in Glasgow next year. While it is a blow for those hopeful of a strong agreement at the conference, some believe there are silver linings to the delay. Most generally, there is hope that it will give countries more time to consider stronger targets than they may have taken to the meeting if it were to have taken place this November, but there are also hopes that governments around the world will choose to make structural changes to their economies in response to the COVID-19 crisis that will make them less polluting, and arrive at the conference having set those changes in motion. Aside from those hopes, the rescheduling will also mean that the conference does not take place soon after the US presidential election, which is to take place on 3 November this year. It seems certain that talks taking place next year will have a backdrop of a significant fall in greenhouse gas emissions between 2019 and 2020 resulting from considerably reduced economic activity during 2020, which will also change the framing of the conference. The northern hemisphere spring is cited as the earliest possible time COP26 could take place.