The Bureau of
the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC decided to postpone the UN Climate
Change meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB52) until next year.
are to take place in the World Conference Centre in Bonn, Germany at a date
which has yet to be decided.
The decision by
the Bureau was based on the need to ensure not only full inclusion and
participation, but the well-being and safety of all involved under the current
travel restrictions and guidelines from local German health authorities in
relation to the global health crisis around COVID-19.
The 11 members
of the Bureau are nominated by each of the five United Nations regional groups
and Small Island Developing States and provide advice and guidance regarding
the ongoing work under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris agreement, the organization of their sessions and the relevant support by the
UN Climate Change secretariat.
The members of
the Bureau expressed their concern and regret regarding the situation but
stated that there is no alternative to the decision.
Presidencies of Chile and the UK, the Subsidiary Bodies (SB) Chairs and the UN
Climate Change secretariat pledged that they will do everything to drive the UN
climate change process forward despite the adverse circumstances.
The UN Climate
Change secretariat and the SB Chairs will soon make proposals that will be sent
to the members of the Bureau in order to decide on the specific plan going
forward towards COP26.
Since the outbreak
of the pandemic, several initiatives have been launched in order to drive
momentum, showcase continuing climate action and urge greater climate ambition
from all segments of society.
For example earlier this month, a series of online
events were successfully conducted under the guidance of the Chairs of the
UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the
Subsidiary Body for Implementation and with the support of the UNFCCC
secretariat, theJune Momentum
for Climate Change
“COVID-19 is an
exceptional challenge impacting the lives of billions,” said UNFCCC Executive
Secretary Patricia Espinosa, “but it has not put an end to climate change which
continues to accelerate, it continues to be an existential threat and we must
therefore, continue to take collective, multilateral action at a global scale
to address it. It has changed the way we work, but it has not stopped it.”
Minister Carolina Schmidt from Chile said: “Due to the global effects that
COVID-19 continues to cause and taking note of the measures put in place by the
German government, the COP Bureau decided to reschedule the UN Climate Change
meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies. This is a necessary measure to protect all
attending participants, delegates and observers.
will continue accelerating and foster the climate action agenda. This includes
a continued dialogue with countries to present enhanced Nationally Determined
Contributions during this year 2020, as well as the formulation of a clear
roadmap towards COP26.”
President-Designate and Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial
Strategy Alok Sharma said: “While it is disappointing that the Bonn
Subsidiary Body October meetings will no longer take place as planned, we
appreciate that this is for the right reasons. Despite this postponement, we
must not lose momentum in our work to accelerate global climate action.
continue our close collaboration with the UNFCCC, COP25 Presidency Chile, the
Subsidiary Body Chairs and our international partners to deliver a successful,
ambitious COP in partnership with Italy in the U.K. next year.”
In May of this
year, the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties, with the UK and it’s Italian
partners agreed that the new dates for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference
are to be between 1 and 12 November 2021, in Glasgow.