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Climate change takes centre stage at World Economic Forum in Davos

By Faridat Salifu

Geopolitical tensions and climate concerns took center stage at the 53rd World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, on January 15, 2024.

The event brought together world leaders, government officials, and corporate executives to address pressing global challenges under the theme of “rebuilding trust.”

The discussions delved into overcoming obstacles to economic development and diplomacy, with a focus on recent geopolitical conflicts, including the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and ongoing terrorism in the Sahel region.

Natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Morocco, floods in Pakistan and Libya, and forest fires in Western Canada, have further intensified the economic and ecological impact.

These crises have contributed to disruptions in food and energy supplies, leading to a significant surge in global inflation rates.

A recent report by the World Economic Forum warns of potential economic losses of up to $12.5 billion by 2050 due to climate change, emphasizing the urgent need for proactive measures.

Despite Africa being disproportionately affected by global warming, the absence of many African decision-makers at the forum raises concerns.

With approximately 9 million annual deaths attributed to atmospheric pollution, Africa remains at the forefront of addressing environmental and financial health challenges.

In response to recurrent crises, global leaders are exploring the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) as a resilience tool.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Sam Altman, creator of ChatGPT, highlighted the role of technology in addressing economic and climate challenges, emphasizing its relevance across continents.

The discussions at Davos are set to continue until January 19th, focusing on fostering international collaboration and implementing strategies to tackle the urgent global issues at hand.

 

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