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Indemnification to UNFCCC: Notification to Parliament

Volume 699: debated on Wednesday 21 July 2021

I am writing to notify Parliament of a contingent liability that will be created when the Government sign the host country agreement for hosting the 26th session of the conference of the parties to the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), known as COP26.

The host country agreement (HCA) will be signed in October 2021, ahead of the conference taking place in Glasgow in November. The HCA includes a standard liability clause, which commits the host country to indemnify the UN or its personnel against any successful claim in respect of the conference.

To mitigate against HMG being liable for covering incidents outside of our control, we have asked the UNFCCC to take out an insurance policy to cover claims arising from misconduct or negligence on the part of UNFCCC or its personnel, which they are willing to do and have done for previous COPs.

We believe it is appropriate to provide this indemnity to the UN as it is a mandatory requirement for host countries of COP. Although the liability is technically uncapped, my officials have reviewed incidents at previous COPs, and have assessed that the risk of the indemnity being called upon is low.