Davos World Economic Forum 2020: World Leaders and Young Activists Speak on Climate Change

Amina Tokakova
Staff Writer

The 50th World Economic Forum’s annual meeting took place in the Swiss city of Davos on January 21, where world leaders discussed the issue of climate change and possible strategies of efficiently addressing it, Forbes reported. The issues of climate change and environmental sustainability have been part of the World Economic Forum’s agenda for the last several years, and they continually are one of the major discussion topics in 2020 as well. Additionally, the aftermath of the fires in Australia made it clear: global warming has become a huge threat to the economy as well as the planet.

In order to address the environmental crisis, the World Economic Forum came up with a new Davos Manifesto that has outlined a goal of growing and conserving 1 trillion trees over the next 10 years, in order to “unite the world to save forests and climate,” Al Jazeera reported. The disasters caused by climate change have resulted in a total of $525 billion in the U.S. only, and seem to grow exponentially. The World Economic Forum has recently released its global risk report where extreme weather shifts, increasing emissions and biodiversity loss are rising concerns at Davos.

Nevertheless, the report encouraged the immediate start of a conversation around climate change, especially after BlackRock’s global head of sustainable investing, Brian Deese, shared that “those risks are more pressing on the market today than most participants understand,” The Wall Street Journal reported. The statement was used by the media and activists to draw attention to the climate problem. The International Monetary Fund commented that the crisis “already endangers the health and economic outcomes.”

Some experts criticize the World Economic Forum for the empty promises and meaningless conversations about global warming, that are constantly held and, yet, nothing seems to improve. They condemn the fact that most of the leaders invited to the forum arrived at the city of Davos in their private planes and expensive luxury cars, which directly contradicts the theme of the forum, Forbes reported. In order to defend the leaders attending the World Economic Forum, it has been claimed that private jets are used as a way to limit the emissions from their planes and positively contribute to the environment.

Nonetheless, the World Economic Forum made the finance giants look at the problem from a fresher perspective, not fogged by their desire for quick profit. As further reported by Forbes, some companies have, in fact, offered their help and assistance in the process of finding and enforcing the solution and have been receptive to the activists’ complaints and the devastating reports made prior to the World Economic Forum.

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