British government says it will provide vaccines to registered COP26 delegates who have not yet received one or who cannot get one in time to attend the climate summit
By Nina Chestney
LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) - The United Nations has opened registration for this year's climate change conference in Scotland with an offer from host country Britain to vaccinate participants who have not yet been innoculated against COVID-19.
The conference, postponed from last year, is known as COP26. It aims to spur more ambitious commitments by countries to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and keep the global average temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius during this century, which was agreed under the Paris Agreement in 2015.
The U.N.'s annual climate conference, which has attracted around 20,000 attendees in past years, is scheduled to take place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 in Glasgow.
Last week, Rosalyn Eales, chief operating officer of the COP26 conference, told a group of lawmakers that Britain would not require delegates to have been vaccinated but would strongly recommend it.
On its website, the United Nations Framework for Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said the British government has offered to provide vaccines to registered party, observer and media representatives who have not yet received one or who will not be able to get one in time for attendance at the conference.
Participants who are interested need to express this on a registration web page https://onlinereg.unfccc.int by July 23 and have their registration confirmed before that date.
Climate and health experts have said it may be challenging for poorer nations that are struggling to access COVID-19 vaccines to send delegates to an in-person meeting.
"Opening registration does not imply that the format of the conference has been determined," the UNFCCC added.
"The government of the United Kingdom is currently making every effort to enable an inclusive conference with in-person participation and will provide information on the arrangements for the conference in the coming weeks," it added.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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