Global warming, mobilising action on climate change in focus

The issue of how to save the planetfrom global warming and efforts to mobilize action against climate changecame under the spotlight at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos Agenda onWednesday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of weakeninginternational institutions and the threats of conflicts, reports Xinhua.

One earth, one shared future

In the “Mobilizing Action on Climate Change” session, Chinese Minister ofEcology and Environment Huang Runqiu urged a united front in tackling the climate crisis.

“There is only one Earth and one shared future for humanity. We need towork together because we are one community to face climate change. This isthe most powerful tool,” Huang said.

Meanwhile, during the “Financing the ‘Net-Zero’ Transition” panel, formerU.S. Vice President Al Gore said that “the world appears to be close to a new alignment to start flowing a mix of private and public investment funds” to enable the “net-zero” transformation of industries to zero carbon emissions.

Swiss Re CEO Christian Mumenthaler stressed that even if companies may notknow how to achieve “net-zero” by 2050, they should take “a leap of faith”and set the target that “I really feel we are at a tipping point in terms of action.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the WEF, the Energy Transitions Commission think tank,NGO Rocky Mountain Institute, and the We Mean Business coalition launched theMission Possible Partnership in a bid to accelerate the decarbonization ofheavy industry and transport. The partnership, which brings together over 400 companies, builds on thework launched at the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Action Summitin 2019 to help seven heavy industry sectors cut their carbon emissions, theWEF announced during the Davos Agenda meeting.

Putin speech

During his special address on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putinwarned that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the preexisting problemsand imbalances.

“We have every reason to believe that the tensions might aggravatefurther,” he said. “International institutions are weakening, regional conflicts are multiplying, the global security system is degrading.”

Referring to the 20th century and the “catastrophic World War II”, Putinsaid that “nowadays, such a heated conflict is not possible. I hope that itis not possible in principle, because it will mean the end of ourcivilization.”

“But I’d like to reiterate that the situation might develop unpredictablyand uncontrollably if we sit on our hands doing nothing to avoid it. There’sa possibility that we might experience an actual collapse of globaldevelopment that might result in a fight of all against all.”

Putin also called for more multilateralism, international dialogue andcooperation to tackle the current challenges.

Covid-19 threat

On Tuesday, Johns Hopkins University data showed that global COVID-19 casessurpassed 100 million.

In his special address, South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on theworld to “further reinforce solidarity and collaboration” in the fight against the virus.

“The economy is recovering, but the polarizations and inequities brought bythe pandemic are growing even bigger. As COVID-19 is becoming more prolonged,inequality is widening a gap that we are witnessing both within countries andbetween countries,” he said.

According to its latest World Economic Outlook on Tuesday, theInternational Monetary Fund now forecasts the global economy to grow 5.5 percent this year and expand by 4.2 percent in 2022, but warned that COVID-19variants pose risks to the post-pandemic recovery.

A special address planned for Wednesday by Italian Prime Minister GiuseppeConte at the WEF was cancelled following his resignation the day before.

The virtual WEF Davos Agenda meeting, which usually takes place in theSwiss mountain town of Davos, lasts until Friday.