Greta leads climate strike on the last day of Davos


  • ASEAN+
  • Friday, 24 Jan 2020

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) takes part in a "Friday for future" youth demonstration in a street of Davos on Jan 24, on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting. Teenage climate activist said calls to the corporate elite meeting in Davos to disinvest immediately in fossil fuels had been ignored. - AFP

DAVOS: The rich and powerful are in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s 50th annual meeting, and the gathering is being closely watched to see how the global elite aims to tackle problems they helped create, above all climate change.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who called a climate strike for Friday (Jan 24) near the forum, slammed delegates for failing to treat global warming as a crisis and that her calls to the corporate elite meeting in Davos to disinvest immediately in fossil fuels had been ignored .

The economy is also in focus on the final day, and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde told Bloomberg TV investors shouldn’t assume that current monetary policy is locked in for the foreseeable future just because officials are reviewing their strategy.

Thunberg has hit back at the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin after he said the teen should go to college before lecturing world leaders on how things should be done.

The Swedish teen responded to the jibe with a barrage of tweets and said it did not take a college degree 'to realise carbon budget doesn't add up'.

On Thursday, Mr Mnuchin took a personal swipe at the 17-year-old saying she was in no position to give advice on climate change because she hasn't been to college yet.

His comments came at a press briefing at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos, as he dismissed Greta's suggestion that governments and companies need to cut back dramatically on their use of fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, 17 World Trade Organisation members including the European Union and China agreed on Friday to create a temporary mechanism to settle trade disputes after the United States paralysed the WTO's appeals body last month.

The European Commission said the WTO members involved had agreed this contingency step would preserve the WTO's two-step dispute system until its own Appellate Body became operational again.

Washington froze the Appellate Body, which acts as a supreme court for international trade, by blocking appointments for over two years. Two of the body's three members came to the end of their terms in December, leaving it unable to issue rulings.

The EU had previously teamed up with Norway and Canada to form a separate appeals body that could resolve disputes.

The other countries that signed up on Friday are Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland and Uruguay.

While the United States is outside the group, US President Donald Trump, speaking in davos on Wednesday, vowed "very dramatic" action for the Geneva-based WTO. WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo is due to visit Washington soon.

An EU source said the bloc welcomed the fact that the Trump administration was engaging with the WTO, which many of its members believe needs to reform to reflect changes in the global economy, including the rise of China. - Reuters/Bloomberg/Asian News Network
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