30 Mar 2020, 13:53
Rachel Waldholz

Germany wants to move key April climate summit online

dpa / Focus Online

Germany plans to hold the annual Petersberg Climate Dialogue as scheduled in late April – but the meeting, which includes environment ministers from around the world, would be held online because of the coronavirus pandemic, newswire dpa reports in an article carried by Focus Online. The annual meeting is seen as a key milestone on the road to the COP26 UN climate negotiations in Glasgow, which are scheduled for November. "Climate change continues to exist, even if it is receiving less attention right now," German environment minister Svenja Schulze told dpa, adding that the rapid response to the coronavirus crisis could be a model for climate action. "We should learn from this to take seriously the other major crises that make us vulnerable – climate change and the destruction of nature – and to fight them resolutely together,” Schulze said. 

This year’s COP26 climate negotiations are seen as crucial for international climate action. Countries are supposed to come to the meeting with new commitments to cut emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement. But the coronavirus pandemic has upended the negotiations that usually precede the COP. The UN climate change secretariat has cancelled all in-person meetings of climate diplomats through the end of April, dpa reports, and officials will meet this week to discuss how to proceed. No decision has been made yet about whether to postpone the COP26 meeting itself.

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