A green Davos?


Davos is an annual meeting for the world’s politicians and economists to discuss global concerns. Charlotte Reid finds out what sustainable issues are being talked about at the event.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss organisation that says it is committed to helping the world by talking to business, political and academic leaders.

Every year in January it holds a meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. It brings together the top 2,600 business leaders, politicians, intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most important issues facing the world at the time.

This year’s conference started on January 25th and goes on until the 29th. The theme for this year’s meeting is The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models.

The conference kicked off with a debate about capitalism. The future of the world economy is an important topic of conversation at Davos this year because of economic growth rates stalling in the west and the financial problems surrounding the Eurozone.

However, the talks will also have time to discuss other issues, especially green concerns.

This year marks 20 years since the UN summit on Sustainable Development. UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon will be in Davos talking about Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development for 2012, and ideas for how to green the economy in order to make it sustainable.

There will also be a chance to discuss the results of last year’s climate change talks in Durban, South Africa because several South African Government ministers are attending the Davos meeting.

At Durban, an agreement was made to create a climate fund to help out poorer countries and a new climate treaty to tackle rising temperatures. However, a lot of the details still need to be finalised and there should be a chance to do that at Davos.

The South African ministers will also have a chance to discuss with the next COP hosts, Qatar. They can talk about the next steps that the climate change conference should take.

However, this chance to discuss green opportunities with leaders from across the world comes with a price. In this case, a huge carbon footprint. Dominic Waughray, senior director at WEF says in the Guardian that the meeting in Davos creates approximately 12,000 tonnes of C02.

But, the WEF offsets 50% of the carbon footprint of the summit through investing in solar power funds and clean energy projects. The delegates are also provided with free, low emission shuttle buses to take them from the airport.

In fact it is true to say that Davos is run on renewable energy as this year the conference is powered by renewable hydropower energy to help reduce emissions.

If renewable energy can help reduce the emissions of an international conference then it can help to reduce your carbon footprint in the home. Blue & Green Tomorrow recommends using home grown energy company Good Energy.

Photo: World Economic Forum via Flickr