Move COP26 online or risk global fiasco, GWPF warns
The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has repeated its call for the COP26 conference to be moved online as developing nations warn they may not send delegates to the UN climate summit over a shortage of Covid-19 vaccines.
In a recent letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson GWPF director Benny Peiser pointed out that President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate has clearly demonstrated that a physical meeting is not necessary to get political leaders to make lofty climate pledges.
And since President Biden’s conference has already delivered an array of pledges from 40 national leaders, it is unlikely that Glasgow will achieve a great deal more.
The longer the Government refuses to take the commonsensical decision to turn COP26 into an online conference and as long as it delays to make the necessary preparations, the bigger the risk that the event will turn into an embarrassing fiasco.
LONDON, May 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Poorer nations struggling to access COVID-19 vaccines may make the “moral” choice not to send delegates to November’s U.N. climate summit in Scotland if others more in need of the doses remain at risk, climate and health experts warned on Wednesday.
Giving climate-talks delegates priority in vaccine-short countries would go against the principle of not “jumping the queue”, Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, deputy director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, told journalists in an online briefing.
Such a move could dim prospects for success at the high-profile COP26 climate conference, which aims to swiftly ramp up action on climate change as the world veers toward failing on its targets to curb dangerous planetary heating.
After negotiations were postponed in 2020, COP26 organisers hope to hold the key gathering in person – but the pandemic has complicated efforts to safely bring tens of thousands of delegates and observers from around the world to Glasgow.
Britain’s COP26 president, Alok Sharma, said last week that decisions had yet to be made about whether conference attendees must be vaccinated, but noted that “the safety of people in Glasgow and the UK, as well as delegates” was a priority.
If vaccines are required, Ogwell Ouma said African nations might decide delegates would not be “preferentially vaccinated” before others on national priority lists if supplies remained insufficient.