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What Was Said at Davos on Climate Change

Global leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland agree that a rapid response is needed to stave off disaster.

Prince Charles and Greta Thunberg both spoke about climate issues last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Credit…World Economic Forum, via Associated Press

As the effects of climate change are increasing around the world, so is talk about solutions — from businesses, governments, nonprofits, individuals (especially young ones), scientists and others. While there are many advocates for change, most experts would say progress needs to be much faster to avert global disaster.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, climate change was at the top of the agenda. Talks took place in open panel discussions, hallways and private meeting rooms. Businesses and global leaders like Jane Goodall and Prince Charles made some commitments. Below are excerpts from panels and speeches, which have been edited and condensed.

The panel, a collaboration of The New York Times with support from Wellcome Trust and BCG Digital Ventures, was led by Somini Sengupta, a Times climate reporter, and looked at the climate health nexus through the strategic lens of cities. The panelists were Kate Brandt, the sustainability officer at Google; Christiana Figueres, a diplomat from Costa Rica; and Maria Neira, director of the public health, environment and social determinants of health department of the World Health Organization.

Ms. Sengupta: We, city people, have a disproportionately large carbon footprint, emitting 70 percent, give or take, of emissions. We represent 50 percent of the population and emit 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. So how are cities going to adapt to what is already a hotter planet, and how are cities going to do the heavy lifting of mitigating emissions? That’s what we’re really here to talk about.

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By udaen

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