Davos wrap-up: Forum runs out of steam as climate becomes ‘king’

(EurActiv, 27 Jan 2020) Climate change dominated discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos, but this year’s sunny edition was dry on the consensus required to drive the global economy towards a greener future.

“The signal has emerged.” That signal James Hansen spoke about in the summer of 1988 was the hottest June ever recorded at the time in the US. It was during the same month that he declared before the Senate, in a historic hearing, that climate change was real and humankind was causing it.

Since then, signals never stopped emerging, as the world witnessed over the past months with the wildfires sweeping the Amazon and Australia, or the floods submerging parts of Italy and Indonesia.

In Davos, where the World Economic Forum concluded last Friday (24 January), climate change crept into every panel discussion, absorbing the attention required by other hot priorities, including growing inequalities, the structural problems of the world economy and the risk of a recession, the crisis of the multilateral system, the ongoing trade war, or global pandemics.

“In past years there was a theme emerging, either the risk of a recession or the failures of globalisation and capitalism. But this year there is no clear narrative, beyond the climate issue,” summarised one of the attendees during an informal conversation in the ski resort’s congress centre.

The Forum did bring some results, but they were more patches than real solutions.

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EurActiv, 27 Jan 2020: Davos wrap-up: Forum runs out of steam as climate becomes ‘king’