Annual meeting comes to a close in Davos

World Today


The World Economic Forum has come to a close in Davos. And on the final day – a warning to world leaders on climate change.

CGTN’s Guy Henderson reports.

The top of the risk list at this year’s World Economic Forum isn’t a trade war or a nuclear apocalypse. It’s climate change — and the global effort to deal with it. Teenage activist Greta Thunberg has come here to say she’s angry.

“I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day, and I want you to act. I want you to act as if you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is,” She said.

She’s making powerful friends here, like Former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres.

“What Greta has been able to do is to give voice to the outrage that is quite prevalent in society, certainly among young people but in fact even among not so young. I think all of us, if we’re honest, have a sizeable piece of outrage in us that it is 2019 and that we still are far behind in where we should be on climate change,” Christiana said.

And for those who say there are more important issues at stake right now, the head of the World Bank has a message, too.

“It’s absolutely paramount that we recognize a shift to the new climate economy is great for the economies themselves, “Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive of World Bank said.

It’s been a worrisome week for the global elite in Davos.

China’s economy’s slowing, the trade war goes on, and there’s the risk of a Hard Brexit shock.

Re-assurances from Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan here hasn’t changed that, “Right now, it’s 6.6%. I believe this speed isn’t slow at all. I’m afraid that in our whole country, no matter if it’s the market or the government, the Party wants the people to remember that although speed is important, what’s more important at hand is structure, quality, and efficiency.”

Longer-term patterns are another thing people here are concerned about, like Author of Globotics Richard Baldwin, “The displacement by digital technology is advancing at exponential pace. But the creation of new jobs is moving at the usual pace of human ingenuity, which is slow like it always is. So if you give us enough time, we’ll create jobs even if we don’t know what they are yet. But I’m worried that the displacement will +outstrip the displacement.”

So another year at the World Economic Forum draws to a close: few here are predicting the next 12 months are going to be easy ones.