Davos, 25 May 2022 (TDI): Climate leaders, including US and Chinese Special Envoys John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua, took part in a high-level panel discussion. The leaders joined World Economic Forum President Borge Brende for a discussion on climate action at Davos.
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They stated that governments’ climate action efforts must be greatly increased. This will assist countries in staying within the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limits. This will also avoid a climate disaster.
China’s Climate Envoy stated that words alone will not solve the problem. Since climate action is now serious, emphasis must be put on the action. This dialogue was a rallying cry for all people, especially world leaders.
In order for humanity to prevent a climatic disaster, they must greatly change the way the global economy operates. The US Climate Envoy was clear about what needed to be ready.
John Kerry, US Climate Envoy, has played a key role in urging world leaders to press for stronger climate action. “Emissions went up in 2021 by 6%, while coal usage expanded by 9%. This is unacceptable.
We realize that countries are concerned over energy security, but we can’t jeopardize the planet by investing in legacy fossil fuel projects that will cause irreparable damage.” The US and Chinese Special Envoys have been working together on climate solutions.
The US Climate Envoy stated, “For at least the next 8 years, we must radically change our economic system and our reliance on fossil fuels if we’re to stay aligned to Paris Agreement targets. This is the real battle of our time.”
Climate leader’s panel discussion
Salesforce Co-CEO Mark Benioff, a major supporter of the First Movers Coalition, said: “We need a new form of environmental capitalism wherein all companies commit to net-zero and start relying exclusively on renewable energy sources.”
For millions of people, climate change is already a daily reality. In an emotional call to world leaders, Elizabeth Wathuti, founder of the Green Generation Initiative, emphasized this. “The humanitarian crisis has only worsened since COP26.
Over 3 million Kenyans and 20 million Africans face extreme hunger due to climate change. The war in Ukraine will only exacerbate these terrifyingly high levels of food insecurity.”
Geraldine Matchett, Royal DSM NV’s Co-CEO, agreed with Wathuti and pointed out a troubling reality: “There is a food crisis as we speak. The current global food system can reasonably feed 3 billion people, 3 billion more struggle to feed themselves, while up to 1 billion faces real undernourishment.
The reality is that this inadequate and unsustainable food system is worsening climate change, while climate change, in turn, will decimate our food system.”
US Climate Envoy, John Kerry, offered a ray of light. He said that fulfillment of climate targets is still achievable, but only if everyone works together: “The reality is that 20 countries are responsible for 80% of emissions.
We have the technology to change, we need the political will. If we can harness this, we can still avoid the worst effects of climate change.”
Panelists’ parting thoughts
As a parting thought and as a voice for future generations and the planet’s most vulnerable people, Wathuti added:
“Political action and technology may help yes, but, what we really need is a change in our relationship toward our planet and its people. When we reshape our economic systems, we must be respectful to all life on earth. Compassion must play a central part in our decisions.”