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UK bids for COP26 presidency in partnership with Italy

The United Kingdom and Italy have agreed to present a proposal for the UK to assume the Presidency of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in partnership with Italy.

Building on previous proposals, the UK offers to host the COP and Italy the pre-COP event.

Can UK claim climate leadership?

‘Hosting the next major climate summit will bring the eyes of the world squarely onto the UK’, said Rosie Rogers, Climate Campaign Lead at Greenpeace UK. ‘The question is what does the government want the world to see?’

‘We can be proud of some real progress made and we are making headline commitments to be world leaders’, Rosie continued, ‘but can we really show a country truly taking the lead in tackling the climate emergency?

‘For example, the government is still allowing oil rigs to drill new wells in British waters and new airport runways to be built. If the UK government won’t take the hard decisions on a real zero carbon economy, any claim to leadership will ring hollow.’

‘Today through great joint diplomacy we have agreed a bid for a UK COP26 Presidency in partnership with our friends in Italy. Together, through our continued commitment to work across Europe and internationally, we will build a better world for our children.’

Foreign Secretary

Youth event in Italy

Within the Pre-COP, Italy will host preparatory events and a significant ‘youth event’, in recognition of the disproportionate impact that climate change will have on young people.

This partnership will form the cornerstone of a wider strategic partnership on tackling climate change and delivering ambitious climate action via COP26 between Italy and the UK, running through the UN Climate Action Summit this September, COP25 and the concurrent UK G7 Presidency and Italian G20 Presidency in 2021.

‘This partnership between Italy and the UK sends a strong signal of determined and informed cooperation on climate change, which is a theme that requires a change of paradigm and which will dominate our agenda and that of future generations.’

Italian Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea Protection

Click here to read our article about BP in the North Sea.

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