Ukraine, climate, economy: Takeaways from glitzy Davos event

DAVOS, Switzerland — The elite of politics, business, education and the arts on Friday concluded the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the town of Davos in Switzerland – where concerns about the war in Ukraine, the global warming and the cooling of the global economy were the main topics of the world’s discussion. illness.

The 53rd edition of the weekly summit in the Alps was marked by the first lady of Ukraine, the climate activist Greta Thunberg, and the actor Idris Elba, in addition to hundreds of presidents, prime ministers, CEOs and other decision-makers who quickly made decisions and expressed their wishes. from trade to Ukrainian tanks.

The conference is constantly criticized as a reservoir of power-hungry and money-grubbers who want to rule the world, and this year it was not. Longtime Kremlin critic Bill Browder sparked controversy over his attendance this year as the conference sought to triple its participation fee to $250,000.

Some high-net-worth individuals earn up to $1 million a year to become members of the WEF club.

I think for everyone if an event that creates promises, promises and cooperation to help achieve the goal of the forum to develop the world will bring any progress.

Here are some of the key takeaways from Davos this year:

HELP FROM UKRAINE

A Ukrainian delegation traveled to the Swiss mountains to push money, weapons and other aid – after meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appearing on video – to the war-torn country as the anniversary of the Russian invasion approaches.

First lady Olena Zelenska urged power brokers in Davos to help, saying in a statement on Tuesday that “there is something that separates you, and that is that not all of you use this influence, or sometimes you use it in a way that separates you a lot. .”

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Zelenskyy urged his allies to speed up the delivery of advanced weapons in a major communication and later gave a veiled criticism to major allies such as Germany and the US who hesitated to send tanks.

“There are times when we shouldn’t hesitate or we shouldn’t compare when someone says, ‘I will give tanks if someone also shares their tanks,'” said Zelenskyy, who repeated the request on Friday when Western allies met in Ramstein. Air Base in Germany.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – the sole leader of the Group of Seven economic leaders in Davos – has faced serious problems to give Ukraine tanks but avoided directly answering the question on Wednesday.

Germany will remain one of the top suppliers of weapons to Ukraine, he said, and “we will not do it alone, but with others – especially the United States.”

CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING

While the panel sessions took topics from green to green, Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and other young climate activists brought fire to the industry VIPs and political leaders preparing for the talks.

The activists accused the main campaigners at Davos of prioritizing short-term profits from fossil fuels over the people affected by the climate crisis. Ugandan activist Nakate choked during a roundtable meeting with the head of the International Energy Agency, saying that “leaders are playing” with the future of the people.

He and Thunberg ended the week with a small protest on Friday where activists held up signs saying, “No Planet B” and chanted “oil must go.” It also added a brochure: Many weather activists – some with makeup – took to the snow for Sunday’s demonstration.

Even the world’s economic leaders were angry about the weather.

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The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgiaieva, when asked one thing to change to advance the transition to zero, said that they would lock the US, China, India and the European Union in a room.

“Let them come out after they sign the agreement to work together to save the world,” he said to applause.

GREEN INVESTMENT RACE

The US energy law that benefits American-made products like electric cars has a big break. Some worry that European companies will be locked out of the US market and denied investment in green technology.

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen presented a major technology innovation plan to end the support measures for green companies and integrate EU projects that are supported by big funds.

Some leaders called the US Inflation Reduction Act a relief. UK opposition leader Keir Starmer says the law is “the biggest chance we’ve been given for a long time to make a difference, get jobs and a better future.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in the same session on Thursday that the world should be happy after years of telling the US “to step up climate change.” Now, they are doing it. “

The Vice President of the EU Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, says that the EU-US group has a solution on the EV tax but “many other areas” need to be addressed.

The law does not want to hurt US allies but to get clean technology to grow faster, Sen. Joe Manchin said.

To reduce the chaos of countries and help the environment, “you can do it faster, faster and better than anywhere in the world and share it with your friends. That’s what we’re going to do,” the West Virginia Democrat said.

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IS THE WORLD’S ECONOMY IN DISASTER?

Many officials say economic prospects are improving because of the shipwreck they fear from rising prices and slowing growth.

The IMF’s Georgieva said inflation is slowing and global economic prospects are “much worse than we feared a few months ago.” Likewise, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said, “It’s not a brilliant year, but it’s a lot better than we feared.”

In the panel on Friday, they all discussed the expected retrenchment in China, which Lagarde said would “probably be good for the world” but could fuel inflation as the world’s second-largest economy uses more energy.

Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, China’s Vice Premier Liu said the country expects to see a sharp rise in imports, more corporate investment and a return to normal spending habits in the coming months.

“If we work hard enough, we are confident that in 2023, China’s growth will return to normal,” he said on Tuesday in an address in Davos.

Many economists have predicted a recession in major economies such as the US and Europe as early as 2023 as inflation caused by the war in Ukraine has prompted central banks to cut interest rates that slow the economy. This is unlikely to happen, with some forecasts pointing to 0.5% growth this year in the US and Europe, but those facing higher prices may not notice.

Speaking to The Associated Press in Davos, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon offered advice: “What’s important is that what’s happening around the world politically, not if you have an economic crisis or a recession, and more.”

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Bonnell reported from London. Associated Press reporters Masha Macpherson and David Keyton in Davos contributed.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the World Economic Forum at https://apnews.com/hub/world-economic-forum

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