DAVOS-KLOSTERS, Switzerland, 26 May 2022: World leaders came together at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 against a backdrop of deepening global frictions and fractures and a once-in-a-century pandemic.
Nature and climate were as much part of the discussions. The leaders said the energy crisis, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, must not deepen the world’s dependence on climate-warming fossil fuels. The week saw a focus on accelerating clean energy and climate solutions:
- More than 50 companies have now joined the First Movers Coalition, which was launched by US President Joe Biden and the World Economic Forum at COP26 to decarbonise the heavy industry and long-distance transport sectors – the sectors responsible for 30% of global emissions.
- John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, joined these companies in sending a powerful market signal to commercialise zero-carbon technology. Their market cap represents about USD 8.5 trillion across five continents, and they are making unprecedented advance purchase commitments by 2030.
- Eight new countries have joined the First Movers Coalition as government partners – Denmark, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom. All are committed to create early markets for clean technologies. Alongside the United States, there are nine committed government partners.
- Some 70+ CEOs of the CEO Climate Leaders Alliance – the largest CEO-led climate action group, globally – agreed on taking bold action to translate pledges into tangible emission reductions in line with 1.5 degrees C. Covering 26 countries and 12 industries and representing 120 companies in total, the alliance has a combined annual emission footprint greater than India or the EU.
- CEOs agreed to push for progress on critical 2030 and 2050 global climate targets, mobilising dialogue between governments and the private sector to deliver a successful outcome at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.
- China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Xie Zhenhua announced his country’s contribution to plant and conserve 70 billion trees by 2030. The World Economic Forum and China Green Foundation will undertake concrete measures together through 1t.org China Action to support the fulfilment of China’s contribution.
- A new USD 15 million investment over five years was announced to support entrepreneurs who can drive innovation in freshwater resource management – the initiative will be hosted by our UpLink platform.
- CEOs also held dialogues with regional climate envoys, COP26, COP27 and COP28 leadership to make progress on global climate policies, including the importance of setting a global price on carbon and other key policy measures to fast-track the transition.
- Youth activist, Elizabeth Watuthi spoke on Safeguarding our People and Planet, sharing the local perspective and direct impacts of climate change in vulnerable communities, and youth climate activist Vanessa Nakate, speaking at the Staying on Course for Climate Action session, said: “When we talk about climate change we’re also talking about food security. It’s really important to understand the intersections of this crisis.”
- The Forum’s Global New Mobility Coalition is launching the Urban Mobility Scorecards initiative. Over 30 companies, such as Visa, Hyundai, Uber, Volta Trucks and TIER, will work with policymakers from cities and regions to better understand challenges and solutions to create a shared, connected and decarbonised mobility ecosystem.
- A new Global Commission on the Economics of Water was launched to redefine the way we value and incorporate water into economic decision-making. It is led by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization; Mariana Mazzucato, Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose; Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of the Government of Singapore; and Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
In a closing address, Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, called for “a sustainable, resilient globalisation, which uses natural resources sparingly and, above all, takes the needs of future generations into account”, adding that a new approach to globalisation would be “based on solidarity which benefits all citizens – in all parts of the world”.