By Mathew Carr
April 16, 2021 — LONDON: The UNFCCC Conference Of the Parties Bureau has agreed to hold a virtual climate-protection meeting from May 31 to June 17, 2021.
The world’s climate is in grave risk, as economies rebound after the pandemic. Many nations have few market incentives that otherwise would curb emissions or spur investment in projects that cut greenhouse gases, even after three decades of UN climate negotiations.
Some, probably misinformed, climate activists are even calling for a delay in talks scheduled for November in Glasgow. Those talks were already delayed a year because of the pandemic, a decision which has probably boosted fossil-fuel burning and the destruction of forests.
The May meeting will encourage agreement ahead of the November talks.
COP Bureau Statement:
The three-week meeting, that follows the principle of maximizing progress and minimizing delay as previously endorsed by the Bureau, will allow to advance the extensive work that needs to be addressed in preparation for the Climate Conference COP26, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland at the end of the year.
Discussions during the meeting in June will be informal; decisions will only be adopted at the next formal meeting in person.
The current COP President Ms Carolina Schmidt and the Bureau, the incoming UK COP president Mr. Alok Sharma, the Chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies and the UNFCCC secretariat are committed to ensuring that the meeting is inclusive and transparent. Special attention will be paid to scheduling the meetings to accommodate different time zones across the globe, and facilitate coordination meetings by negotiating groups.
The secretariat will continue to provide support to ensure the full and effective participation, in a fair and inclusive manner, of all Parties. This includes supporting logistical and connectivity needs for participants, as needed.
The UNFCCC Executive Secretary and the presiding officers will also address Governments in an open letter asking that all Governments, through their negotiators, support the work of the sessions to achieve as much progress as possible towards a successful COP.
Additionally, to enhance openness, transparency and inclusiveness, effective participation and engagement of observers will be enabled in the same manner as during in-person meetings.
(Updates with context, Tweet)