Davos, Switzerland, 24 January 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Country leaders and business chiefs at this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) did not heed calls to stop investing in emissions-intensive industries, several young activists who took part in the summit said on Friday.
“Of course those demands have been completely ignored, but we expected nothing less,” said Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage climate campaigner who has inspired the global Fridays For Future school strikes.
The organizers of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) this year invited a number of young activists to the gathering in the Swiss town of Davos, where environmental issues where high on the agenda.
The assembled leaders talked a lot about the promise of future technologies that could save the climate, rather on action that can be taken now, fellow Swedish school striker Isabelle Axelsson told a press conference.
“We cannot rely on technologies that do not yet exist. Ceasing the behaviour that is causing the emissions is crucial,” she said.
The activists cautioned against the strong sense of optimism about climate solutions that many leaders expressed in Davos.
“We got the feeling that the WEF created a bubble of positivity, but we are in a crisis,” Swiss campaigner Loukina Tille said.
Luisa Neubauer, a German Fridays For Future leader, said she and her colleagues had heard a lot of positive speeches in Davos.
“We will hold each of those speakers accountable. We will watch them and we will ask them to turn their words into action,” she said.
Despite the sense of disillusionment all of the young activists agreed that attending the World Economic Forum was worth it.
“Davos gave us an opportunity to talk about the things that we need and the climate action that we need,” said Vanessa Nakate from Uganda.