THE COP26 climate summit has been postponed until 2021.

The key talks were due to be held in Glasgow this November, with about 30,000 people, including some 200 world leaders, expected to attend.

But the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic has forced organisers to push it back a year.

The UK was sharing the presidency of COP26 with Italy.

While the main event was due to take place in the Scottish Event Campus, a number of key preparatory events were to be held in Milan.

Italy has been devastated by Covid-19 and has publicly reported more deaths from the outbreak than anywhere else in the world.

It accounts for around 30% of all global fatalities.

The SEC itself is due to become the NHS Louisa Jordan, an emergency coronavirus field hospital.

A key preliminary meeting due to take place in Germany, in early June, was also looking likely to be cancelled.

The Glasgow talks were seen as massively important in the fight against climate change, with campaigners hoping to get world leaders to agree to tougher plans to cap rising temperatures by limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Last year’s conference in Madrid ended without an agreement.

Finland’s climate minister, Krista Mikkonen broke the news on Twitter.

“UN climate change conference #COP26 in Glasgow has been postponed due to #COVID-19. Right decision, but work must continue. EU must lead the way and update its 2030 NDC as soon as possible,” she tweeted.

The planning for Cop 26 has not gone entirely the UK Government’s way.

There have been clashes with the Scottish Government over the use of a key venue.

Those clashes have fuelled speculation that ministers in London might move next year’s event south.

After it was revealed the climate talks were coming to Scotland, SNP ministers moved to book the Glasgow Science Centre, located just over the River Clyde from the Scottish Event Campus.

The plan was to put on a programme of cultural events, receptions, talks and workshops.

However, earlier this year the UK Government indicated it wanted the venue and wasn’t willing to share.

The sacked president of COP26, Claire O’Neill, claimed the ­Scottish Government had stolen the centre from a long-established UK Government booking.

The Scottish Government said it had checked with Tory ministers first and had been given the all clear.

O’Neill said she suggested the Prime Minister offer Sturgeon a formal role in COP26.

Boris Johnson reportedly replied: “Over my f****** dead body”.

He allegedly added: “I’m not being driven out of Scotland by that bloody Wee Jimmy Krankie woman.”

Downing Street deny he made the comments.

Last month, Climate Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, recently offered to hand over the Science Centre if a suitable alternative venue could be secured by the UK Government.

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