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May 28, 2020 – At a virtual meeting today, the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC committed to take forward crucial work to tackle climate change under the umbrella of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), despite the COVID-19 crisis.

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. Since the last meeting of the Bureau in April, the work of the UNFCCC secretariat has not slowed, with several initiatives launched in order to drive momentum, showcase continuing climate action and urging greater climate ambition from all segments of society.

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, said: “Our efforts to address climate change and COVID-19 are not mutually exclusive. If done right, the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis can steer us to a more inclusive and sustainable climate path. We honor those whom we have lost by working with renewed commitment and continuing to demonstrate leadership and determination in addressing climate change, and building a safe, clean, just and resilient world.”

In addition to several technical meetings organized by the UN Climate Change secretariat, key political events have taken place this year, for example the Petersberg Climate Dialogue and the Placencia Ambition Forum.

From 1 to 10 June 2020, a series of online events will be 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, the June Momentum for Climate Change.

The June Momentum events offer an opportunity for Parties and other stakeholders to meet virtually and continue exchanging views and sharing information in order to maintain momentum in the UNFCCC process and to showcase how climate action is progressing under the special circumstances the world is currently facing.

This will include advancing technical work under the constituted bodies, as well as providing a platform for information exchange and engagement on other work being done under the UNFCCC, including on adaptation, mitigation, science, finance, technology, capacity-building, transparency, gender, Action for Climate Empowerment, and the preparation and submission of nationally determined contributions.

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Formal negotiations and decision-making are not envisaged for these events and will take place at the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body sessions which are scheduled for October of this year.

The Bureau of the Conference of the Parties, with the UK and its Italian partners today also agreed new dates for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, which will now take place between 1 and 12 November 2021, in Glasgow. The conference was originally set to take place in November 2020, but had been postponed due to COVID-19. See also the corresponding press release from the UK COP Presidency.

About the UNFCCC
With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.