KEY UN climate talks postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic will be held in November 2021.

COP26, which was due to be held in November this year in Glasgow, will now run from November 1 to 12 in 2021.

The UK Government website said the agreement followed consultation with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) members, delivery partners and the international climate community.

The UK proposed the move in a letter to UN member states earlier this week.

The new dates, which come after wide-ranging consultation, were decided on by the UNFCCC’s Cop bureau, at a meeting on Thursday.

COP26 president and Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, said: "While we rightly focus on fighting the immediate crisis of the Coronavirus, we must not lose sight of the huge challenges of climate change. With the new dates for COP26 now agreed we are working with our international partners on an ambitious roadmap for global climate action between now and November 2021.

"The steps we take to rebuild our economies will have a profound impact on our societies’ future sustainability, resilience and wellbeing and COP26 can be a moment where the world unites behind a clean resilient recovery.

"Everyone will need to raise their ambitions to tackle climate change and the expertise of the Friends of COP will be important in helping boost climate action across the globe."

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 honour those who 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."

Cop26 is the most important round of talks since the global Paris Agreement to tackle climate change was secured in 2015.

This year marks the date by which countries are expected to come forward with stronger emissions cuts to meet the goals of the deal.

Plans submitted so far put the world on a pathway towards more than 3C of warming, though the Paris Agreement commits countries to curb temperatures to 1.5C or 2C above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

But with countries around the world grappling with coronavirus, and many putting citizens in lockdown, governments have prioritised the immediate global health crisis.

Since the pandemic took hold, greenhouse gas emissions have dropped sharply as industry and transport have been curtailed, but experts have warned that pollution will soon bounce back without climate action.

There have been warnings that the climate crisis has not gone away in the face of Covid-19.

And there have been widespread calls on governments to ensure the economy recovery from the pandemic is “green”, investing in areas such as renewables, home insulation, public transport and cycling and tree planting to boost jobs and improve lives.