(London) AFP: Business chiefs head into their first global gathering of 2020 warning that a litany of environmental disasters risk defining the world over the new decade, according to a
A week before its annual conclave in Davos, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum said the survey was a call to arms as wildfires
rage in Australia and governments struggle to articulate collective action on climate change.
“The political landscape is polarised, sea levels are rising and climate fires are burning,” WEF President Borge Brende said.
“This is the year when world leaders must work with all sectors of society to repair and reinvigorate our systems of cooperation, not just for short-term benefit but for tackling our deep-rooted risks,” he said.
In recent years, climate change and its likely consequences have emerged as top concerns shadowing the Davos meeting, along with economic risks.
This time, the organisation’s “Global Risks Perception Survey” found the top five categories of concern for the next 10 years were all environmental -- topped by extreme weather events and failure of governments and businesses to forestall climate change.
For 2020 alone, economic confrontations and domestic political polarisation were among the shorter-term drivers of anxiety, following a period in which US President Donald Trump has been ripping up the rulebook for international trade.Trump will attend next week’s Davos meeting, the White House has confirmed, after agreeing a deal to defuse a trade war he started with China.
Also returning to Davos will be 17-year-old Swedish eco-activist Greta Thunberg, who called in the Guardian for an end to the “madness” of investing in fossil fuels.