Jan 24, 2020
Let’s Dive into Davos
By Claire Grant
What was discussed at the 50th annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos?
The once a year meeting of the rich and powerful is under way in Davos, Switzerland.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international organization of world leaders and executives. For fifty years, the forum has held an exclusive meeting in Davos for executives, elected officials, and even celebrities to hear from experts about the biggest issues facing the world and to brainstorm solutions. The meeting has a theme each year and the theme this year is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Participants are focused on building a more sustainable future in the face of climate change.
Climate Change at Davos
Given the WEF’s focus on sustainability for 2020, climate change has been a major talking point at the conference. Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg attended the meeting. Thunberg delivered a speech in which she claimed that world leaders are not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions and that the continued inaction of world leaders and companies will allow climate change to accelerate.
Klaus Schwab, the German economics and engineering professor who founded the World Economic Forum, also urged participating companies to aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Some executives took the opportunity at the meeting in Davos to speak about how their companies plan to reduce their carbon footprints and increase their sustainability efforts.
Leadership at British-Dutch consumer goods conglomerate Unilever promised to reduce unsustainable packaging by 14% by 2025, while Nestlé pledged that it would spend $2 billion on the development of more sustainable packaging, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, Russian aluminum producer En+ said it would spend $850 million revitalizing plants to reduce their carbon footprint. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson also promised that the coffee company would cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030.
Investment manager BlackRock also announced its partnership with the Climate Finance Partnership, which hopes to raise $500 million for the development of renewable energy. This announcement came after BlackRock’s chairman and CEO Larry Fink sent a letter to CEOs warning them about how the advancement of climate change might significantly shift the world of finance.
Donald Trump Takes a Different Tone
Despite the theme of this year’s meeting in Davos, President Donald Trump made a speech in which he claimed that climate change is not the immediate threat that scientists and climate experts have asserted that it is. While company leaders outlined their plans for reducing carbon emissions, President Trump spoke in support of America’s position as the biggest producer of oil and gas in the world.
If the theme of this year’s Davos is any indication, confronting climate change is becoming a priority for companies and consumers. You can be climate-conscious in how you invest. Stash offers ETFs that include clean energy companies and companies that are working to reduce their carbon footprints.
When you invest, remember to follow the Stash Way, which includes regular investing, diversification, and planning for the long term.
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