“Our house is still on fire…” – Greta Thunberg
The 50th Annual World Economic Forum Meeting held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland ran from the 21st to the 24th of January this year and is basically the convening of leaders from all walks of life to build a more cohesive and sustainable future for everyone on this planet.
The unavoidable geopolitical reality of the current state of our planet is the reason why communities and networks are forming to address pressing global concerns such as climate change, sustainable development and economic inclusion.
The G20 was created when the world recognised globalisation as a fact of life and essentially make it work for everyone. Today, its members — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States — represent about two-thirds of the world’s population and account for 85 percent of global GDP.
Greta Thunberg spoke at the forum to push for immediate, radical change on the climate emergency. She called for an immediate exit from fossil fuel investment, an end to subsidies for the industry and a halt to investment in fossil fuel exploration and extraction by companies, banks, institutions and governments.
Donald Trump told Davos that delegates should be optimistic.
“To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers,” he said.
He suggested the implementation of One Trillion Trees initiative. Yes, it’s a great solution to the growing rate of deforestation, but it does not alleviate the root of the problem.
Donald Trump’s treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin clashed with Greta Thunberg after responding to her call for immediate fossil fuel divestment by saying: “After she goes and studies economics in college she can come back and explain that to us.” Mnuchin also added: “When I was allowed to drive I had a Tesla. I drove in California. I liked it.”
“But nobody focuses on how that electricity is made and what happens to the storage and the environmental issues on all these batteries”, Greta responded.
She has a valid point. The focus should be shifted from finding solutions to the problem (which is great, but not the only way to combat it), to emphasising that prevention is indeed better than cure.
“You might think we (younger generation) are naive but if you won’t do it, you must explain to your children why you’ve given up on the Paris agreement goals and knowingly created a climate crisis,” Greta told delegates on Tuesday.