NEW DELHI – John Kerry, US envoy for climate change, said on Monday that postponing a major UN global warming summit scheduled for November in Scotland would be a “huge, huge mistake”.
“The show has to go on,” said Mr. Kerry.
The summit has already been postponed once due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, a coalition of more than 1,000 environmental groups called for it to be rejected again, citing the growing number of cases and arguing that participants in poorer countries still do not have access to vaccines and cannot afford the costs of the necessary quarantine in a Hotel.
The summit in Glasgow, Scotland, known as COP26, is being touted as the last best chance on the planet to reduce the fossil fuel emissions that are causing climate change. Some 20,000 diplomats, business leaders and activists are expected and nations are under increasing pressure to announce ambitious measures to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, a research institute in Kenya and one of the groups requesting the report, said he feared that “only rich countries and NGOs from those countries could participate.”
But a group of 39 small island nations, which are among the most vulnerable to climate change, insist the global rally goes as planned. A delay would only benefit the fossil fuel industry, the group said in a statement.
The UK government said last week that the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be given to any delegate who asked for it. Alok Sharma, the conference’s UN president, said in a statement that Britain also intends to cover the full cost of quarantines for its “red list” delegates, which would otherwise be banned. entry due to the high rate of Covid-19 cases.
Mr. Kerry said she believes the conference can be held safely.
“There is no reason to delay in this world of vaccines and social distancing,” Kerry said. And he warned that “any delay will allow nations to back down, to back down, perhaps to reverse a commitment”.
The latest scientific assessment by the UN Group found that the devastating effects of global warming are now inevitable and the window to avoid even worse consequences is closing rapidly.
Kerry said the scientists’ warning underscores the urgency of the Glasgow rally.
“We don’t have time to worry about recovery,” Kerry said. “The world has to start cooking on this. “
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