ActionAid responds to the decision to delay COP26

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As the Covid-19 crisis continues to escalate globally, the United Nations has announced that the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will be delayed. 

Commenting on this, Dr Amiera Sawas, Senior Climate and Gender Justice Advisor at ActionAid UK says,

“We welcome the decision to delay COP26 and recognise it must have been a very difficult decision to take in light of such extraordinary circumstances. We understand the enormous pressure on the entire UK government, including the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - and COP26 President - Alok Sharma, to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“While the climate emergency continues to present catastrophic risks to the world’s poorest and most marginalised – especially women and girls, the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting them hardest too. The direct and indirect impacts of both of these crises on the rights of women and girls are likely to be long-lasting and severe.  

“We support the decision to postpone the COP in order for countries to prioritise responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and protecting the most vulnerable in their communities. The delay will ensure governments have the required time to develop ambitious climate pledges too.  

“This gives the UK government critical time to ensure that it maintains its commitment to making this COP the most transparent and inclusive ever. It is more important than ever to ensure that the women and girls who are on the frontline of climate change are able to attend and shape the COP process. 

“We would like to offer our support to government in terms of urgent or long-term recovery responses to Covid-19. We’re calling on the government, in its ongoing financial stimulus support to developing countries, to prioritise low carbon business and sectors. This will give developing countries, and their most marginalised women and girls, the chance to recover from Covid-19 whilst also ensuring long-term resilience against the ongoing threat of climate change."