The COP26 summit must take place in person, emphasizes George Eustice

0

The COP26 summit should take place face to face this year instead of over Zoom, emphasizes the environment minister

  • George Eustice insisted that the COP26 summit should take place face to face this year
  • The conference has already been delayed and will now take place in Glasgow in November
  • Climate activist Greta Thunberg among those who have said they will not come

Ministers today dismissed calls to hold a major climate summit over Zoom rather than in person in the UK.

Environment Minister George Eustice insisted that the Cop26 conference – to be held in Glasgow in November – will be ‘much more effective’ with people physically present.

Due to the pandemic, the event was postponed from November last year. But there is an increasing pressure to make it happen virtually.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has said she has no plans to attend the Glasgow event and suggested postponing it again due to the coronavirus.

Mr. Eustice told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, “Well, we think it has to be done physically.

Alok Sharma

Climate activist Greta Thunberg (left) has said she has no intention of attending the Glasgow event overseen by Alok Sharma (right) and has suggested postponing it again due to the pandemic.

“There is a Cop secretariat or a Cop office that ultimately makes these final decisions, but they do this in very close cooperation with the host country.

‘We postponed it last year, of course, because we wanted it to be done personally. I think it is much more effective when it is done in person and that is absolutely our intention.

“There may be parts that are partly virtual that some people attend virtually, but we think for the main leaders meeting that it will be in person and that is our intention.”

His comments are in line with Police Chairman Alok Sharma, who said last week that the government is “working very hard” to ensure the conference can take place in person.

The summit is expected to bring together the largest meeting of heads of state ever in the UK, along with climate experts and campaigners, to achieve a coordinated global action plan to address the climate emergency.

No 10 has said the UK is ‘using all international roads’ to ask every country to set ambitious emissions reduction targets to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by the middle of the century.

It’s because world leaders are attending a virtual two-day summit on climate change from April 22, led by US President Joe Biden.

Mr Sharma, the Prime Minister’s Czar for Climate Change, will travel to Japan this week to bolster support ahead of the environmental conference.

He plans to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to advocate for a strong climate policy and call on him to follow the UK’s lead in phasing out coal.

Environment Minister George Eustice insisted that the Cop26 conference - to be held in Glasgow in November - will be 'much more effective' with people physically present

Environment Minister George Eustice insisted that the Cop26 conference – to be held in Glasgow in November – will be ‘much more effective’ with people physically present

Advertisement