Further delay feared as ‘like-minded’ countries resist online climate negotiations

Climate Change NewsFurther delay feared as ‘like-minded’ countries resist online climate negotiations. Major developing countries oppose calls to hold preparatory climate negotiations online in June, citing connectivity and time zone concerns.

Climate negotiations could face further delays as the coronavirus pandemic risk remains too high for meeting in person and key officials do not agree to taking formal talks online.

A stalemate emerged on Thursday evening at a meeting of the 11-member UN Climate Change bureau on how to proceed with preparatory negotiations ahead of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, UK, in November. Members agreed to consult further and defer a decision to the next meeting at the end of March.

The biggest resistance to holding talks online comes from the “like-minded” group of middle-income countries, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting. Among them, representatives of Iran and Pakistan asked for more time to consult with their governments over how to proceed.

India told a UK Cop26 briefing this month that “virtual negotiations should not replace in-person negotiations”, citing the risk of “disadvantages to many, many developing countries”.

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