The Government still intends to hold the Cop26 summit in Glasgow despite it being postponed due to coronavirus, Downing Street has said.

The decision was taken by the United Nations with the UK Government to call off the summit where world leaders were due to attend, in the biggest event of its kind ever in the UK.

It is expected to be re-scheduled to take place in the spring or summer of 2021.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “The intention is to go ahead with the summit next year.

“We will be working with our international partners on the precise date but it does absolutely remain the intention for it to be held in Glasgow.

“There was a discussion between ourselves and our intentional partners and it was felt that at a time when the world is focused on dealing with the global pandemic and saving as many lives as possible that it made practical sense in order to postpone Cop, to hold it next year and to work hard on ensuring that it is a great success.

“It remains a hugely important event.”
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “COVID-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, but we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term.

Organisation of the event over the coming months was considered not possible due to the ongoing worldwide efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The summit venue, the SEC, is currently being converted into a temporary hospital as a contingency for coronavirus.

But officials from around the world would have been meeting int eh coming months to make plans for the event and the lockdown measures make it unfeasible to do.

Postponing the summit was the right thing to do, according to Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow City Council.

Ms Aitken, said: “It is absolutely the right decision to postpone COP26 as the world is in the midst of fighting the COVID19 pandemic.

“We will continue to work with partners to be ready to host a successful climate change conference and look forward to welcoming delegates to Glasgow next year.

“Whenever COP26 takes place, as host city Glasgow stands ready to not only deliver a superb event, but also secure a lasting legacy and low carbon future for our city and the planet.”

Scottish Government climate change secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Given the global health and economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that hosting an international conference in November would be difficult if not impossible. 

“The decision also means that much needed resources can be focussed on the immediate task of saving lives and protecting the economy.”