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Climate crisis: a world economic failure? Davos awaits Greta

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 20, 2020 - Duration: 01:49s

Climate crisis: a world economic failure? Davos awaits Greta

On the eve of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, focus is on teenage activist Greta Thunberg as she prepares to challenge the global financial elite to fight climate change.

Conway Gittens reports

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Climate crisis: a world economic failure? Davos awaits Greta

"Unite Behind Science": Climate activists and academics are speaking out on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

As global leaders and the business elite start to arrive ahead of Tuesday's (January 21) official start, climate change is expected to top the agenda.

Even the impending arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump isn't hogging all the limelight, partly thanks to the presence of Greta Thunberg.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, CONWAY GITTENS, SAYING: "The teenage climate activist was due to be speaking here but her team have said she is unwell.

But she may well be putting the finishing touches to comments for an opening day of the summit when the 17 year old will again have the ear of the world's most powerful." Swedish student Thunberg launched the FridaysforFuture movement in 2018, sparking worldwide protests.

Last week the teenager marched with 10,000 environmental protesters in the Swiss city of Lausanne, but WEF founder Klaus Schwab says it's important for other young voices in Davos to be acknowledged too.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM FOUNDER, KLAUS SCHWAB, SAYING: "We should not just concentrate on Greta.

She's certainly got some kind of celebrity status.

But I'm thinking of the young girl who we have here who has changed at the age of 19 the whole policy of Indonesia concerning plastics." Hundreds of protesters are braving the cold to hike 40km, or 25 miles, to Davos.

Some are dressed as koala bears, a reference to the bushfires that have ravaged their habitat in Australia.

Though the government there has been hesitant to make a link to climate change, the fires though have deepened public concern about the heating of the planet.

Greta and the other young activists here aren't going to let delegates forget it.

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