Climate change action a major focus at this year’s World Economic Forum

22 January 2014 — The World Economic Forum, which kicked off today in Davos, Switzerland, will this year devote a full day to the topic of climate change, to encourage political, business and financial leaders to take action to tackle this global threat.

January 24 has been chosen as ‘Climate Day’ to put the spotlight on advancing progress in 2014 on the climate change and sustainable development agenda.

It is hoped that by focusing on the climate change and clean energy, attendees can lay the ground work for strong climate action in the lead up to the Climate Change Summit hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, this September.in New York.

More than 2,500 leaders from about 100 countries, including over 30 heads of state or government are expected to participate in the four-day Forum. Representatives of the public, private and civil society sectors will also take part in the discussions that seek to highlight economic opportunities to combat climate change.

This year’s theme for the annual meeting is ‘The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.’ Around 23 of the WEF’s events are directly related to climate change and energy policy, and these issues will also be discussed in private meetings between tomorrow and Saturday.

The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, together with UN climate chief Christiana Figueres and other leaders from the UN system, are scheduled to address the Forum tomorrow to talk about how governments and business can work together on the issue.

Mr. Ban told Member States that the Climate Summit, which will be held on September 23rd, aims to advance bold action on the ground and mobilize political will for an ambitious agreement.

“2014 must be a pivotal year for climate action. In the international process to address climate change, governments are currently considering what their contributions will be ahead of the new, universal climate agreement in 2015,” Figueres said.

“Policymakers can be encouraged that investors and the broader public support strong policy contributions that drive low-carbon opportunity and ensure security. And the World Economic Forum needs to be a catalytic moment in driving that discussion.”

In its Global Risks 2014 report, released ahead of the gathering, the WEF identified climate change as one of the top 10 leading risks and one of the top five most impactful risks. Other major risks named in the report include extreme weather events and water crises.