Islamic Relief supports the United Nations’ decision to delay the COP 26 climate change summit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK government rightly points out that rescheduling will ensure that governments can focus on the issues to be discussed and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place. We note their commitment to work with all to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions.

When we welcome the world to Glasgow in 2021 we expect governments to have begun to take urgent action before future crises unfold – whether in public health or the climate emergency.

More than ever governments need to work together to reduce the risks, protect citizens, encourage community-level resilience and take drastic measures to transform priorities and economies in the face of the climate threat.

Climate action must remain high on the political agenda this year as governments prepare to protect and rebuild communities. At the COP next year we expect to come together in sombre reflection with a determination that resources and attention are directed to building sustained ecological and social resilience, putting people before profit.

These efforts must especially involve women and children, people with disabilities, older people and people living in extreme poverty who suffer first and most when catastrophe strikes. Islamic Relief will continue to ensure that their voices are heard, their experiences shared and, as countries recover, that they are at the centre of a clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient 21st century economy.