Rolling coverage of the first day of the World Economic Forum, including appearances by former US vice-president Al Gore, Italian PM Matteo Renzi and Chinese premier Li Keqiang
Al Gore and Pharrell Williams on climate changeThe Agenda
Ukraine’s president cuts trip short
Gore is pointing to satellite pictures, and video clips of recent storms.
Warmer climates mean rising sea levels, which means more moisture entering the atmosphere, which means more serious rainfall and most violent storms, he says
The Pope Francis has joined the ranks of climate activists, Gore says, speaking powerfully about it recently.
Gore is running through more stats to show the recent climate change.
December 2014 was 358th month in a row of temperatures above the long term average, he says.
Al Gore’s up now – talking about the surge in greenhouse gas emissions through recent decades.
The principle source of the problem is the burning of fossil fuels, which has put enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The main conference hall is filling up for Gore and Williams. First, though, they’re getting a history lesson — a quick romp through the history of the universe. We’ve just reached the death of the dinosaurs….
Al Gore’s role as a climate change activist is well known. Pharrell Williams, perhaps not so much?
The highly successful musician is here as Creative Director and Brand Ambassador for Bionic Yarn, which takes recycled plastic and turns it into durable textiles.
Nearly time for the first major event of the day – the debate on “What’s Next? A Climate for Action”, with Al Gore, Pharrell Williams and Kevin Wall, founder of the Live Earth organisation
You can watch it live here:
Away from Davos briefly, the Bank of Japan has cut its inflation forecasts.
Plummeting oil prices forced the central bank to revise down its forecasts for core consumer inflation for the year beginning in April to 1% from a forecast of 1.7% three months ago.
Consumer inflation will slow for the time being due to oil price falls. On the assumption that oil prices will flatten out at current levels and rise moderately ahead, the effect of the oil price decline will ease.
Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of insurance company Prudential is in Davos and has been speaking to Bloomberg Television.
As the world gets more interconnected, it gets more difficult to predict the impact events will have and that feeds into volatility.
As a long-term investor, we are lucky that we are able to sit back through some of the short-term events.
Union leaders have also made an early mark at Davos, declaring that workers need a new Magna Carta of rights to tackle inequality and unemployment.
Philip Jennings, general secretary of UNI Global Union, which has 20 million members, set the tone, declaring:
“Politicians and business leaders at Davos are sitting on a volcano of legitimate discontent fuelled by unemployment, inequality and austerity. Collectively we have a responsibility to face up to the need to change course.”
As the annual mountain powwow gets underway there are fresh accusations this morning that Davos amounts to, at best, handwringing about inequality and, at worst, a hotbed of “dangerous delusions”, my colleague Katie Allen reports.
The accusation comes from campaigners Global Justice Now, which has released a report suggesting that the number of people living in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa – that’s on less than $2 a day – has doubled to 562 million since 1981. Simultaneously, the global rich have become much richer, says the group, formerly known as the World Development Movement.
“The world’s elite, who are gathered at their annual strategy meeting in Davos, are encouraging us to believe powerful myths to convince us that their unequal system makes the world a better place. We want to undermine those ‘dangerous delusions’ to show that their policies are fuelling inequality, poverty and destruction and we need radical change.
Poverty is about power – the majority of people can’t improve their lives when all the world’s resources are monopolised by an ultra rich few.”
Here’s something to ponder: One in five top bosses are so confident of their ability that they never doubt their decisions.
That’s according to a report just released at Davos this morning. Jill Treanor was there, and reports:
One chief executive interviewed by Said Businesss School at the University of Oxford and headhunters Heidrick and Struggles said: “Every day we have a missile pointed toward us. We don’t know where it will fall. I can’t control everything but I can remind each us of where the risks are”.
The report, launched at the Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum, found that top bosses were concerned about the pace of change and also operating a world where their decisions could be analysed by searches on google.
PR company Edelman has released its latest Trust survey at Davos this morning. It found that tax avoidance is the biggest reason Brits are losing faith in companies (bad news for several of the multinationals attending WEF!)
No 1 cause of lack of trust in UK: companies not paying taxes. #edeltrust #wef15
Concern at #edeltrust that media have fallen below search engines as a trusted source. #wef15
Who do you trust most to create content in social media: 70% friends & family, 70% academics, 50% media, 20% celebs. #edelmantrust #wef15
President Poroshenko’s spokesperson has confirmed that the president will be leaving Davos earlier than planned.
“Due to the complication of the situation, the President decided to shorten his visit to Switzerland and … return to Ukraine on (Wednesday),” he said in a Facebook post.
The word at Davos this morning is that Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, is cutting his visit to WEF because of the escalating conflict in the country’s eastern regions.
As is traditional, Davos has descended into a security lock-down for this week with police officers at many of the main junctions. No sign of protests on the way in, but tiz still early…..
Davos in its usual tight-security mode, for #wef15 pic.twitter.com/9yz1LJ0Q3w
Good morning from Davos, Switzerland, where the 45th World Economic Forum is getting underway.