Biodiversity talks in China's Kunming in April may be affected by COVID

A man wearing a face mask walks past a closed shop with a notice on the outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Kunming, Yunnan province, China January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Wong Campion

BEIJING, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The schedule of the second phase of the COP15 global biodiversity talks in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming in April is "likely to be affected" by new COVID-19 risks, environment ministry spokesman Liu Youbin said on Monday.

The second phase was supposed to see the completion of a new post-2020 global deal on biodiversity protection, following on the first round of talks in Kunming last October.

A follow-up meeting scheduled for January in Geneva had already been cancelled as a result of a new wave of coronavirus infections caused by the Omicron variant.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and David Stanway; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.