Political and economic leaders from around the world have been meeting since Monday in Davos, in the Swiss Alps for the 53rd edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF). This year, the climate inevitably occupies an important place in the discussions.
The UN chief lashed out at oil industries who had known for decades about the impact of their activities on the climate. He also drew up an alarming assessment of the state of the planet, in particular because of climate change and conflicts, such as the war in Ukraine.
“Some fossil fuel producers were well aware in the 1970s that their flagship product was going to burn the planet,” he said in a speech where he denounced their “big lie”.
The Secretary-General has painted a grim but realistic picture of the state of our planet.
“I am not here to sugarcoat the magnitude of this challenge – or the deplorable state of our world,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, noting that the world is in the grip of a “perfect storm. “on several fronts. Many parts of the world are in recession and the whole world is facing a slowdown.
The UN Secretary General also denounced some “questionable” corporate commitments to carbon neutrality. This “misleads consumers, investors and regulators with false narratives”, he said, judging that it opens the door to “greenwashing”. “Our climate commitments require the full commitment of the private sector”, he insisted, believing that “the battle to reach the 1.5 degree target (of global warming) will be won or lost during this decade. “.
Climate activists mobilized in Davos
Davos city center was overrun with banners and whistles. Among the demonstrators, climate activists who came to demand accountability from the ultra-rich accused of not providing solutions to current problems, at the head of which is climate change.
Activists plan to use the meeting to remind wealthy countries and energy groups of the need to fund energy transitions in developing countries and pay for damages from natural disasters that come with climate change.
The JSS (Swiss Socialist Youth) called for demonstrations in Davos for “a tax targeting the rich for the climate and the cancellation of the debt” of the countries of the South.
For this 53rd edition, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has chosen the theme “Cooperating in a fragmented world”. Because in the opinion of the organizers themselves, the geopolitical and geoeconomic context in which this meeting is being held is the most complex the world has known for decades. In question, the Covid crisis from which the planet is still struggling to recover, and of course the war in Ukraine and its most visible consequences: soaring energy prices, galloping inflation or even climate change and its devastating effects on more vulnerable.