DAVOS (Sputnik) – The 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), to be held in the Swiss resort village of Davos from January 21-24, will focus on environmental issues more than ever before and call on attending companies to move their business models toward greener choices.
Teenagers, Top Officials, Youtubers To Attend
US President Donald Trump and Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg, whom many see as opponents on the climate change issue, will give addresses, one right after the other, in what will undoubtedly be the most-watched sessions during the event.
Apart from Trump, some 50 heads of state and government, and more than 300 ministerial-level officials and CEOs will be in attendance. Top-level participants include, among others, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, the secretary-general of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
In total, the WEF will bring together 3,000 people representing the political, economic and civil arenas from around the world.
The Russian delegation will include acting Energy Minister Alexander Novak and acting Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin.
Joining Thunberg at the youth level will be nine other teenage climate change activists.
Over 1,000 media representatives will be at the event, according to the organizers. Notably, this year the WEF has invited a group of YouTube influencers to post videos from Davos for the first time.
The 50th WEF will convene under the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”
The forum traditionally seeks to focus on the most pressing global challenges with the aim of influencing policymakers’ choices for the year ahead. This year, climate change is considered to be the top issue, so the WEF will ask all companies present to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and will update its Manifesto in order to “reimagine the purpose and scorecards for companies and governments,” according to WEF founder Klaus Schwab.
The original Davos Manifesto, adopted in 1973, set forth a concept envisaging that businesses should serve the interests of all society rather than simply their shareholders. The updated version will broaden this vision to ensure the social and ecological responsibilities of businesses.
Apart from environmental and business concerns, geopolitical issues will be high on the agenda, as they are at every forum. This year, tensions in the Middle East, developments in Libya and Syria, the US-China trade dispute, Brexit and the approaching presidential election in the United States will be among the core topics.
Ever More Sustainable
According to the WEF organizers, the 2020 meeting will be among the most sustainable international summits ever held. The event will be fully carbon neutral, which will be achieved by using 100 percent renewable electricity sources and e-vehicles, adjusting the menu to include only locally produced ingredients and avoiding the use of materials that cannot be easily recycled, such as carpets.
The venue will showcase a series of installations such as the Algae Platform, which explores the potential of algae as an alternative to conventional plastics.
In addition, the WEF 2020 will launch an initiative to plant one trillion trees over the next decade.