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Global leaders head to Davos 2020

By Hazel Davis

Political and business leaders will convene to work through “new world disorder”

Trade tensions, climate emergency and foreign policy changes. It might be hard to know where to start at next week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

The conference takes place from 21 to 24 January, attended by 3,000 participants from around the world, including world leaders, at least 119 billionaires (according to Bloomberg), 53 heads of state, 35 finance ministers and around 30 trade ministers, US president Donald Trump and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has cancelled.

The theme in this fiftieth year is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World” and the five-day event will look at ways to help governments and international institutions to work towards the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, addressing issues such as extreme weather and biodiversity loss. The WEF says the fully carbon-neutral 2020 meeting will be among the most sustainable international summits ever held.

From its beginnings in the 1970s, the WEF, whose guiding principle is “stakeholder capitalism”, has been clear that it neither act as an advocacy group nor expresses any opinions on behalf of its members or participants. However, WEF founder Professor Klaus Schwab said in a statement, “People are revolting against the economic ‘elites’ they believe have betrayed them, and our efforts to keep global warming limited to 1.5°C are falling dangerously short,”

The former Prime Minister of Finland, Alexander Stubb, told news channel CNBC there was a “new world disorder” that needs to be addressed at this year’s event.

FURTHER READING: Five things in January that should get 2020 going

FURTHER READING: World must double investment in renewable energy to meet climate target

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