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Davos 2020: Greta vs. Trump, businesses scored on climate action

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 19, 2020 - Duration: 02:16s

Davos 2020: Greta vs. Trump, businesses scored on climate action

Climate change and environmental destruction top the risks highlighted by world decision-makers in a survey ahead of the 2020 gathering of the global elite in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Conway Gittens reports

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Davos 2020: Greta vs. Trump, businesses scored on climate action

One may be flying in by helicopter while the other is expected to take a more sustainable route up the mountain but if rumour is to be believed, the snowy alpine resort of Davos COULD be the setting of an unlikely encounter Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab though was playing down whether he would attempt to orchestrate a handshake.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KLAUS SCHWAB "We try to never engineer something.

I think the best things just happen and afterwards have a positive impact." With sustainability the main theme of the annual summit, pressure has never been more intense on governments to act.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT CONWAY GITTENS, SAYING: "Business leaders too are under pressure to make meaningful commitments, particularly after a warning last week from BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink.

He told company boards to step up efforts to tackle climate change and make investment decisions with climate change risk in mind.

That'a a big about face from the world's biggest asset manager, with more than $7 trillion of assets under management.'' But will we see more CEOs following suit?

The WEF is trying to force their hand by introducing a score card.

It will rate companies on the basis of environmental and social performance although they haven't said whether firms would be struck off the Davos guest list if they don't score well.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KLAUS SCHWAB, WEF FOUNDER, SAYING: "We are faced with an urgency.

We see a window for action closing and this is the reason why we put so much emphasis on the issue of climate for the 50th anniversary." U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to dominate headlines again, if he shows up.

While some world leaders will skip this year's Davos.

British PM Boris Johnson has told his ministers to avoid an event seen by many as elitist.

Although Schwab insists Johnson told him he'd be back next year.

In a bid to preempt criticism that its jetset guests are part of the problem, the WEF says this year's Davos will be fully carbon neutral for the first time.

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