Former COP26 chief says there is ‘question mark’ over UN climate summit taking place

  • Date: 08/06/21
  • The Herald

THE COP26 climate change conference due to take place in Glasgow in November may not go ahead because of a lack of progress in lead-up talks, its former chief has said.

Former COP26 chief says there is ‘question mark’ over event taking place

Claire O’Neill said there was now a “question mark” over whether the two-week event at the SEC would take place as planned or be delayed.

She also urged the leaders of the G7 countries meeting in Cornwalll this week to set the right tone, given the urgency of the climate crisis, to help ensure the Cop took place.Find out how you can buy stocks without paying commissionETORO|SPONSORED Avoid These 10 Retirement BlundersFISHER INVESTMENTS UK|SPONSORED   by Taboola 

Ms O’Neil, a former energy minister formerly known by her married name as Claire Perry, was nominated as Cop26 president in September 2019.

However Boris Johnson sacked her a few months later in order to install a serving minister in the role, giving it to then business secretary Alok Sharma. 

Speaking to BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Ms O’Neill said the 198 parties to the Cop were currently in virtual negotiations, but were failing to advance as required. 

She said: “The reason for Cop to happen is a series of negotiations which have to happen in 198 directions, and they are not as focused as people would expect on this enormous climate emergency and the need for really rapid action.

“If you think now that those negotiations are happening virtually for three weeks, there is a question mark, truthfully, over whether the negotiations will happen at Glasgow at the end of the year.

“I’m hearing from very reliable sources that at the end of this virtual negotiation period, the parties, the 198 parties, will decide whether they’ve made enough progress to go ahead in Glasgow. And of course there is then a question about in-person or virtual [attendance], because some countries find the idea of virtual negotiations to be very difficult.”

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