Global elite gather in Davos amid war in Ukraine and climate change

The summit will be held in Davos next week. Between the war in Ukraine, climate change and globalization, the world’s political and economic elites claim to “cooperate in a fractured world” in an existential crisis. This year’s meeting organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Alpine ski resort of Switzerland “is taking place in the most complex geopolitical and geoeconomic context in decades,” said WEF President Borge Brende during the briefing. for reporters this week. The Covid-19 pandemic, trade disputes between China and the United States, and the war in Ukraine have contributed to the proliferation of geopolitical tensions and the strengthening of more protectionist policies in recent years. DIF founder Klaus Schwab lamented that “one of the main reasons for this fragmentation is the lack of cooperation” which “results in short-term and selfish politics”.

Even to the point of some wondering about the future of globalization, it has been defended at the center of philosophy in Davos for half a century. Karen Harris, a partner and economist at consulting firm Bain & Company, told AFP that “there was a time of hope for a return to the old normal, which is such a globalized world.” “I believe that today they recognize that this era is coming to an end,” even as cooperation “around smaller questions” will remain, he said. “Even climate is becoming a more isolationist battle,” he notes, referring to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provides large subsidies to companies set up in the electric vehicles or renewable energy sector in the US. , even carbon. taxes at borders are currently applied in Europe.


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Ukrainian delegation is expected

Nearly a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the conflict and its implications for global energy and defense policy will form much of the discussion at Davos. If the Russians do not attend for the second year in a row, a Ukrainian delegation is expected to be in Switzerland, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has planned to intervene from afar. Their ability to address hundreds of political figures such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres or NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, around 600 business leaders, many media and representatives of civil society: NGOs, researchers and even stars . such as actor Idris Elba or soprano Renée Fleming. Climate is emerging as another key topic, and organizers hope the talks will help prepare for the next round of global talks at COP28 in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates later in the year.

Meanwhile, activists plan to use the meeting to remind rich countries and energy groups that they need to finance developing countries’ energy transitions and pay for the damage caused by natural disasters caused by climate change. The JSS (Swiss Socialist Youth) is calling for demonstrations in Davos on Sunday to “remove taxes and debt that target the climate rich” in southern countries. But as every year at Davos, the most important action takes place behind the scenes, with businesspeople, investors and politicians taking advantage of the gathering to discuss outside the formal conference.


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American journalist Peter S. Goodman, the author of the book published last year, notes that “In four days in a private room, they can do more work than in several months of flights around the world.” The Man from Davos: How Billionaires Ate the World. For him, the most important contribution that Davos could make would be to promote global tax reforms and reduce inequality. Karen Harris also hopes for an “open discussion” at Davos about what developments in the global economy mean not only for the US, Europe or China, but also for “developing markets, which are often the losers in economic developments”.


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