Wallonia’s Government proposed on Friday that Belgium make a bid to organise the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the International Agreement on Climate Change, to be held in late 2020. “Wallonia proposes that Belgium host COP26 in 2020,” the Minister responsible for Climate Affairs, Jean-Luc Crucke, announced on Twitter. “It’s time to be ambitious,” he added in a message accompanied by a photograph bearing the inscription “COP26: Towards a Belgian candidature.”
The announcement came on the heels of a decision by Switzerland to withdraw from the race, citing an extremely tight schedule, among other things. The Swiss Government also felt that it had little chance to win the selection by virtue of the ‘first-come, first-serve’ principle: Italy was the first country to bid to host the meeting..
The three-week-long COPs usually bring together about 30,000 participants and, according to Swiss estimates, represent a cost of up to 176 million euros.
“We are fully confident that the Federal Government will support and act on our proposal,” Crucke commented. “It’s only by being ambitious that you achieve great things.”