Live updates | World Economic Forum meeting in Davos (2023)

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) - The latest from the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland: Trade ministers from a handful of nations announced an initiative to promote trade policies that support action on climate change at a press conference.

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The latest from the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland:

Trade ministers from a handful of nations announced an initiative to promote trade policies that support action on climate change at a press conference in Davos, Switzerland.

Its goals include ensuring better global access to clean technologies that reduce emissions and promoting products that have been made in accordance with climate and sustainability goals.

Speaking Thursday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, Ecuadorian Production Minister Julio José Prado said that discussion on aligning trade policies with climate goals is "long overdue".

He added: “As trade ministers, we must deliver both economic results and sustainable results… we should have done this years ago, but now is the time to act and now is the time to start this kind of coalition.”

Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president and trade commissioner at the European Commission, said countries "need to do a better job in terms of bridging those different points" between trade, development and climate action.

The coalition is co-led by the trade ministers of Ecuador, the European Union, Kenya and New Zealand and more than 50 nations have joined the initiative.



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Former US Vice President Al Gore says data from a new greenhouse gas tracking project suggests oil and gas companies are emitting three times more than they report.

Gore, speaking Thursday at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, presented findings from a tool called Climate TRACE that can help countries meet their climate commitments and allow companies to compare which manufacturers are emitting the most gases. greenhouse effect when making decisions. about where to get supplies.

It was presented at the United Nations climate change conference last November.

He says that "for the first time, we know exactly where the contamination comes from". Of oil and gas producers, Gore said, "Most (other industries) are not that far away."

The inventory was created by researchers, data analysts and non-governmental organizations around the world using satellite data, remote sensing and artificial intelligence. It is open to the public and free to use.


With many European leaders fearful of a clean energy law that would benefit US-made green technology, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says the world should be happy that the US is taking action on climate change.

At a panel session on Thursday on global energy at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Rutte said that “for years we have been saying to the US, ‘You need to step up in Paris. You have to step up climate change. Now they're doing it."

He added that the Inflation Reduction Act aims to close the gap in the Paris climate targets, "so let's be happy with that."

He says there are some unintended consequences, but European officials are working with the Biden administration and he is "not pessimistic".

Some worry that European companies will be forced out of the US market and that their investments in green technology will be denied.

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US Senator Joe Manchin says the law is not intended to harm allies, but to make clean technology spread quickly.

To quell geopolitical unrest and help the environment, he says, “You better be able to make it faster, faster and better than anywhere in the world, and then share it with your friends. That's what we're going to do."

Ilham Kadri, chief executive of Belgium-based chemical company Solvay SA, says the US law "is not the enemy, (it's) the best thing that can happen to Europe."

Businesses like his require constant energy, and he warns that Europe is at "huge risk of de-industrialisation".

Russia has largely cut natural gas supplies to Europe. Energy prices soared, prompting energy-intensive industries like fertilizers and steel to cut production because it was no longer profitable.

UK opposition leader Keir Starmer also said the US law was not "just a challenge".

He says it's "the biggest opportunity we've been given in a long time to transition, to take on the jobs and opportunities of the future."


Greece's prime minister says he still believes it is possible to resolve his country's differences with Turkey by talking to Turkey's president, stressing that the neighbors will not go to war.

Relations between the two NATO allies have been particularly tense over the past two years, and the rhetoric from Turkish officials is alarming. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said Turkish troops could attack Greece "suddenly one night" and has even threatened to attack Athens with ballistic missiles.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday during a session at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland that "we will not go to war with Turkey".

He added that "we should be able to sit down with Turkey like reasonable adults and resolve our main difference, which is the delimitation of maritime zones in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean."

Long at odds over a range of issues, including territorial and energy rights in their shared waters, Greece and Turkey have come to the brink of war three times in the past half century. Recent tension has centered on energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean and the presence of Greek troops on islands in the eastern Aegean off the Turkish coast.


FBI Director Christopher Wray says he is "deeply concerned" about China's artificial intelligence program.

Speaking Thursday during a panel session at a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Wray said that China has the largest hacking operation in the world.

He says the country's AI initiatives "are not constrained by the rule of law" and are "built on huge troves of intellectual property and sensitive data that they've stolen over the years".

Wray's statement is consistent with previous warnings from Washington about China's artificial intelligence ambitions. In 2021, for example, US officials raised similar alarms for business leaders, academics, and state and local government officials.

Beijing has repeatedly accused Washington of instilling fear over its intentions and has lashed out at US intelligence over its assessments of China.


The head of the International Monetary Fund had strong words for global governments when she and others were asked at a panel session in Davos what they would change to accelerate the transition to net zero emissions.

IMG CEO Kristalina Georgieva told the World Economic Forum meeting on Thursday that it would block the US, China, India and the EU. into a room and close the door.

“Let them out after signing a blood pledge to work together to save the planet,” he said to applause from the audience.

Patrick Dlamini, executive director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, said more IMF international reserves should be diverted to the Global South.

Earlier, the panel discussed how smallholder farmers in Africa could be financed at scale to undertake green projects using market mechanisms.

Oliver Bäte, chief executive of German insurance and asset manager Allianz, said: “We need to do things faster” by “setting deadlines.


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Tunisia's prime minister insists her country's move towards democracy "is not at risk", despite low turnout in the first round of parliamentary elections that culminate in a decisive second round in 10 days.

Najla Bouden, speaking Thursday at a panel session on Africa at a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, predicted that the second round on January 29 would "probably" see a "much stronger turnout" than the initial vote on the last month

In response to an Associated Press question, he said: “I can assure you that the democratic transition is not at risk. We are in the process of shifting a paradigm… to move from one regime to another.”

Angry Tunisian protestersand some outside observers have expressed concern that the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings against autocratic leaders 12 years ago is now moving away from democracy under President Kais Saied.

Only 11% of voters votedin disastrous parliamentary elections last month called to replace and reshape a legislature that Saied dissolved in 2021. The country also faces rising unemployment and higher prices for staple foods like sugar, vegetable oil and rice.

Bouden added that "I am very hopeful that Tunisia will keep getting better and achieve things that are likely to surprise you in the coming months."


South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol says his country will depend on nuclear power to meet its climate targets and has promoted South Korean industry's effort to sell its nuclear power technologies to other nations.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss city of Davos on Thursday, Yoon touched on the country's goals to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050 by expanding nuclear power plants. He has offered to cooperate with other nations in need of South Korea's "world-leading nuclear power plant technologies".

Yoon said South Korea was also looking to develop hydrogen as a clean energy alternative, which he said would be effective in reducing emissions in sectors such as steel, chemicals and shipping.

He says "cooperation is crucial between nations in the Middle East and Europe, which have strongholds in green hydrogen production, and nations like South Korea and Japan, which are at the forefront of hydrogen application."

Yoon's goals of increasing nuclear energy's share in the country's energy turmoil stem from the policies of his predecessor, Moon Jae-in, who sought to reduce the country's nuclear dependency. Global interest in nuclear power has surged as governments face increased pressure to cut carbon emissions as they grapple with rising fossil fuel prices, compounded by lockdowns, the pandemic and Russia's war with Ukraine.


South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol says he is calling for international solidarity to restore stability to supply chains undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's war on Ukraine, as well as technological competition and barriers you trade

South Korea, a major producer of computer memory chips, has struggled to find a balance between its ally the United States and China, its biggest trading partner, amid growing rivalry over technology and regional influence.

Speaking on Thursday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss city of Davos, Yoon said that while it was an "inevitable choice" for South Korea to cooperate with countries that share common "universal values", such cooperation should not result in in trade. blocks or the exclusion of certain nations, apparently in reference to China.

He said that "Japan, like the United States, has a political, social and economic system similar to ours and shares most of our universal values" and noted some differences with China.

But he said "our close cooperation between countries that share universal values ​​must not proceed in a way that excludes and blocks relations with nations that have systems different from ours or have many differences regarding universal values."


Prominent climate activists such as Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate are condemning corporate figures and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland, for prioritizing short-term profits from fossil fuels over people affected by the climate crisis.

They were joined by activists Helena Gualinga and Luisa Neubauer and International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol in a panel discussion on Thursday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Nakate, who choked at one point, said that "the leaders are playing" with the future of the people. He added that the effects of climate change "are already hell for many communities across the African continent, across the Global South" who face extreme drought, heat and flooding.

Activists brought a "cease and desist" letter calling on fossil fuel companies to stop all new oil and natural gas projects, signed by nearly 900,000 people.

Scientists say new fossil fuel projects cannot be built if the world wants to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), in line with climate targets set in Paris in 2015.

Thunberg added that without persistent public pressure, corporations will continue to "throw people under the bus for their own benefit".


In a discussion on climate finance that focused on the lack of common standards, the head of the International Monetary Fund compared the world's current trajectory to being on the Titanic.

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IMG CEO Kristalina Georgieva told the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday that while there are "some bright spots on the horizon", this is "not good enough".

He warned that when it comes to crafting universal standards for green finance, "perfect is the enemy of good."

A global set of minimum benchmarks on, for example, corporate emissions disclosure would reduce the scope for companies to self-police and engage in greenwashing. Without common standards, companies may continue to hide bad news or refine their emissions disclosures to give a more favorable impression.

She says "Europe can be a leader by uniting us on common standards".


European leaders say they are working with the US on issues related to subsidies for US-made green technology, but dealing with trade tensions with China is more difficult.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told a panel session on European growth at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday that "the main problem in Europe is that we don't have a coordinated policy with China".

He says that “it's not that we have to choose between the United States and China. We need to have our own policy. And our own policy should be, first of all, that we have the mindset that we want to be a player and not a playing field.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled earlier this week in Davos a grand cleantech industrial plan that would pave the way for subsidies for green industries and clustered projects across the EU that are boosted with significant funds.

Its aim is to bolster the 27-nation bloc's push for climate neutrality by 2050 and ensure its economic survival as it faces challenges from China and the US.

EU Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis says concerns about US Inflation Cut Act funding for "made in America" ​​green technology, such as electric vehicles, are that "it's done in a way discriminatory".

He says he's not helping to build transatlantic value chains, he's actually cutting them.

But he noted that the EU-US. The task force has “a satisfactory solution on tax credits for clean vehicles. But there are many other areas we need to address.”

In China, Rutte says it offers an excellent foundation for innovation and potential, but "at the same time, we have legitimate security concerns." He says it's important to maintain the Western edge in sectors such as semiconductors, which can be used in defense systems.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic noted that "there is a big difference between China and Russia". He says that with China he doesn't "see a similar pattern of threats that would jeopardize our economy, our way of life and our security".


Top European leaders see an improvement in expectations for the economy this year in the face of high inflation and Russia's war in Ukraine, but warn there is more work to be done.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde told a panel session on European growth at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday that activity "is slowing compared to an excellent 2022." . She says the expected economic growth of 0.5% in 2023 "is not a brilliant year, but it is much better than we feared".

Inflation remains high, reaching 9.2% in December, which is why he says the bank will continue to raise interest rates to control it. Inflation was fueled by high energy prices after Russia largely cut natural gas supplies to Europe amid the war in Ukraine.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was also concerned about inflation and praised the bank for doing the right thing.

European Union Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis noted how the energy relief for homes and businesses was well targeted. He says that around 70% of support measures are not targeted, which fuels inflation.

He and Rutte say Europe needs to focus on building energy security, with a focus on transitioning to renewable energy.

Rutte has called for the government to cut borrowing, saying it is too high in Italy, France and other countries because it is hurting long-term economic growth. To do that, he says changes in the pension sector are difficult but necessary, adding: "I'm glad the French have decided to move forward on the pension issue."

French workers angry withproposed changes to pension rulesthat would lower the retirement age are holding strikes and protests across the country on Thursday.


Nadir Godrej, chairman of Indian company Godrej Industries, Limited, delivered a poem rather than a speech during a panel session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Godrej released a six-minute-plus poem with the line: "Climate change is no longer within tolerable change, a crisis is what you deal with fires, floods and droughts."

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The poem released on Thursday in Davos, Switzerland, details the work his organization has done on blue carbon projects and his views on the climate crisis and the actions needed in general.

Blue carbon refers to the carbon captured by the world's oceans and coastal ecosystems. Despite occupying only about 5% of the land area, coastal wetlands store about 50% of all carbon buried in ocean sediments.

A large number of restoration projects have been launched in recent years to restore coastal ecosystems, especially mangroves, which are highly effective carbon sinks.

Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Union Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, told the panel that “no blue, no green.

She says "we need to make sure ocean ecosystems stay healthy" and said oneagreement to protect 30% of land and water deemed important for biodiversityby 2030, it plays a key role.

Countries committed to the agreement at the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity, or COP15, held in Montreal in December last year.

The Montreal agreement is considered the most important effort yet to protect the world's lands and oceans and provide critical funding to save biodiversity in the developing world.


Pfizer's chief executive says the biggest challenge faced by the company and other vaccine makers during the pandemic has been negotiating policy.

Albert Bourla, speaking on a panel on pandemic preparedness at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, said that the use of masks, the effectiveness of vaccines or questions about vaccine delivery have been politicized and have been constant hurdles for vaccine manufacturers. .

He says "the biggest challenge...was the political challenge."

He added that protectionism out of fear has led governments to close borders, which has made it difficult for vaccines to be exported or the raw materials needed to manufacture them to enter.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair drew the distinction between the "forgivable" policy of government leaders trying to vaccinate their own population as elections approach and the "unforgivable" policy of politicizing public health.

He says turning mask wearing into a political issue was "unforgivable and stupid".

Blair added that for most countries the virus had receded into the "rear view mirror" and the only way to stay focused was to convince politicians that "there are votes".


Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his frustration at not getting enough tanks from some western countries to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian forces.

The Ukrainian leader, at breakfast on Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, offered a thinly-veiled criticism of countries such as Germany, Poland and the United States, key supporters of Ukraine, which in the however, havehesitated to send tanks.

Speaking via video link, Zelenskyy lamented the "lack of specific weaponry" and said that to win the war, "we cannot do it with motivation and morale alone".

Through an interpreter, he said at the Victor Pinchuk Foundation breakfast that “I would like to thank our partners again for their assistance. But at the same time, there are times when we shouldn't hesitate or compare ourselves when someone says, 'I'll give you tanks if someone also shares your tanks'”.

Zelenskyy also said that air defense was "our weakness" in light of targeted Russian attacks, including the use of Iranian-made drones, and reiterated his call for long-range artillery supplies to fire on Russian forces on Ukrainian soil. , not against Russia. . .

Ukraine has been looking for months to get heavier tanks, including the American Abrams and the German Leopard 2 tanks, but Western leaders have tread carefully.

The UK announced last week that it would send Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, and France said it would send AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine, called "light tanks" in French.

Poland and the Czech Republic provided Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Ukrainian forces. Poland has expressed its willingness to supply a Leopard tank company, but has said it would only do so as part of a larger international coalition for tank aid to Kyiv.

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who attended the breakfast, said: "Get them tanks, get Volodymyr Zelenskyy whatever he needs."

A Associated Press


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