BY Ryan McDougall | April 2 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Church welcomes COP26 postponement amid coronavirus outbreak

The Church’s arm for social justice and human rights has welcomed news that COP26 has been postponed for a year amid the coronavirus outbreak, stating people's safety comes first.

COP26, officially named the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, was due to take place in Glasgow from November 9-20, but has been postponed until next year.

It is uncertain at this time when and where the conference will take place.

Around 30,000 delegates including political leaders, climate experts and campaigners were set to attend the conference, at which they would have created new plans to tackle climate change.

Church support

The Catholic Church in Scotland has been vocal in its support for the need for new climate laws, and Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si has called for better worldwide environmental justice.

Danny Sweeney, coordinator of Justice and Peace Scotland, said: “It is understandable that a decision has been made to postpone COP26 in Glasgow.

We are living in unprecedented times, and the efforts and focus of all nations should be on ensuring the health and wellbeing of all peoples against COVID-19.

Societal Change

“In recent weeks there has been much conversation about the nature of our society and how we may change as a result of the coronavirus.

“We hope that energy, creativity, and solidarity that has been shown across communities in recent weeks will continue as we face the challenges of climate chaos together, and that both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor will be heard when COP26 does take place.”

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.

Economical restart

“Soon, economies will restart. This is a chance for nations to recover better, to include the most vulnerable in those plans, and a chance to shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient.

“In the meantime, we continue to support and to urge nations to significantly boost climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement.”

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