Climate activists cry foul over the existence of many of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. World Economic Forum this week – because there were protests before the event.
Thousands of global business leaders and political elites will gather in Davos, Switzerland for the WEF, which runs from Monday to Friday. Executives are among those expected to attend large energy companies including BP, Chevron and Saudi Aramco.
“We demand concrete and real climate action,” said protest organizer Nicolas Siegrist, 26, who also heads Switzerland’s Young Socialist Party.
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“They will be in the same room with the state leaders and they will defend their interests,” Siegrist added.
More than 100 protesters gathered in the snowy Davos square chanting slogans “change your diet for the climate, eat the rich”, and some Greek oil companies were referred to during their speech.
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Heather Smith, a member of the 99% organization, said, “I know some companies are involved in alternatives, but I think governments have to tilt the field in favor of alternative energy with their subsidies.” Smith is campaigning to stop the development of the Rosebank oil and gas field in the North Sea.
This year’s WEF will feature more than a dozen panels on energy and climate change. Topics include clean energy infrastructure, climate litigation, decarbonization of supply chains, and growing electricity consumption.
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Among those going to the WEF is one of the staunchest advocates of energy policy Congress, Democratic Sen. Joe Machin of West Virginia.
manchin – which has lined up members of the party to defend fossil fuels like coal and oil – will be part of the US delegation in Davos.
In addition to British Labor leader Keir Starmer, Manchin is scheduled to appear on Thursday’s panel titled “Empowering the World,” along with executives from a fuel cell company and an electricity and gas distribution company.
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Panelists will discuss “the context of a global energy crisis in which leaders must contend with a climate emergency, geopolitical conflict and price pressures,” and how leaders must address short-term energy needs with long-term supply and sustainability issues.
Former Vice President Al Gore, a longtime climate change activist who has faced criticism over his personal carbon footprint, will speak on a panel discussing research by Climate TRACE that found significant underreporting of greenhouse gas emissions around the world.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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