Davos 2020 – What Went Down?

For those who do not know, this week saw the 50th anniversary of the annual WEF (World Economic Forum) gathering in Davos, Switzerland. In general, these events bring together political leaders, celebrities and business professionals to debate and discuss issues of global agendas. The focus of this year was based on ‘Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world’. This is important to consider when we look at what happened at this major event.

Greta vs Trump

If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend reading @Dessi’s post on Greta Thunberg (Link Below) as she very clearly outlines the media attention that activist Great Thunberg has surrounding her every movement. So, what does the media focus on? We get another ‘stare’ from Greta towards Trump and some very questionable cartoons as shown above. However, moving past this, Trump did reveal some interesting things. To begin with, Trump boasted the economic supremacy that the US has seen during his presidency. No surprise that he decided to completely ignore the agenda of becoming a cohesive and sustainable world. However, after enough pressure from interviewers and hecklers, Trump did mention plans for the US to have a major part in the ‘Trillion Tree Initiative’ set up in part by the WWF. He also referred to plans to begin promoting ‘clean’ energy through fewer imports from foreign nations as well as gas hydrate technology. While this is a step in the right direction, Trump still displayed pessimistic views on global warming, presenting the idea that people are presenting ideas of the apocalypse.

Greta, on the other hand, attacked Trump for leaving the Prais Accords in 2015, saying that there are only 8 years left to prevent global temperatures escalating to 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures. These claims were supported by Al Gore, presenting the idea that we are in a crisis beyond our moral imagination, comparing it to major world catastrophes such as 9/11 and Dunkirk. Furthermore, Greta took the final day off from the Davos event to continue her pursuit of her ‘Fridays For Future’ campaign. Something which I aim to go into more detail about in a later article. She was also part of a group of young climate activists, all in attendance at this event, who called out major corporations to immediately halt investment into fossil fuels.

Prince Charles

The final part of this event that I want to talk about is the involvement of Prince Charles. Quite the contradictory headline that surrounded Prince Charles was the fact he travelled by electric car to the event, despite the fact that he just stepped foot out of his private jet that transported him to Switzerland. When you move past this, however, Prince Charles joined the side of Greta, stating that climate change and biodiversity loss is the worst crisis that we have ever faced. He believes that it is time for drastic immediate change, which is why he presented a brand new 10 part economic model for sustainable futures. This included putting natures capital at the forefront of our protection, developing pathways to net-zero and allowing nature to be the driver of economics. Some of these statements were quite loosely defined and may need some further development, but, I am in huge support of the idea of reinvigorating natures value in the world. In some of my recent University work, I discussed the idea that keeping natures value is critical to maintaining healthy ecosystems due to the fact that when you a tree becomes a number or a price tag, it loses all of its value within its ecosystem.

  • So, the battle between Trump and Greta continues. Is this healthy in the pursuit of reducing global emissions? Or should this kind of attention-grabbing media be pushed aside as we look to create a better future?

It is an incredibly important event as we enter a new decade and potentially our last decade to make a significant change. Our hope is that more climate activists and people of power are able to get involved and make a significant difference.

Link to @Dessi article - [Opinion Pieces] Freely Share Your Thoughts on Everything About Climate Change

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withdrawing all subsidies from coal and oil would be a step in the right direction, I don’t see why Joe Public should be paying their decommissioning costs. Big grants for Solar with battery storage plus low interest loans. Move EV grants up to £10k per car with scappage allowances and free road tax. We have the money, just use the coal & oil subsidy money, if we need more then use the HS2 cash, who needs to get from Leeds to London 20 minutes faster ? It will be 2035 before that happens, by then self driving cars will be the norm, there will be far less cars on the road so drive down!

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Hi Steven! I completely agree. All investment should be halted towards fossil fuels and major companies should even go as far as to reconsider their existing agreements. HS2 is certainly a tricky one, I have been reading recently that the ‘leaked’ £100bn cost was extremely and misleading. Even so, at upwards of £60bn, that money could definitely be better spent when you’re talking about improving overall sustainable travel. I certainly believe that the existing rail network needs major improvements!

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