DAVOS, Switzerland (AFP) – The ruler of Qatar has called for double standards in the West, recalling the killing of a Palestinian-American journalist during an Israeli raid this month.
“We should not accept a world where governments have double standards on the value of people based on their region, race or religion,” Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said during a speech at the World Economic Forum on Monday.
“We consider every European life as precious as anyone from our region,” he added.
Al Jazeera, which is headquartered in Qatar and started by Sheikh Tamim’s father in the 1990s, says its longtime reporter Shireen Abu Okla was killed by Israeli fire on May 11.
Israel says it may have been shot by its own forces, but says it cannot be confirmed without more forensic evidence.
Sheikh Tamim called on the world’s political and business elites gathered in Davos to give the same amount of attention to Ukraine to resolve all the forgotten or ignored disputes.
“The most vivid example is in Palestine,” he said, calling “the world wakes up to injustice and violence and finally acts.”
A senior US government adviser on clean energy and climate change policy said governments need to “make it worth the time for private industry” to invest large sums in carbon dioxide removal technologies.
“(Governments) can do this through tax incentives…You can do this through public procurement. There are a range of ways to make it valuable to private industries,” said Varun Sivaram, senior director of clean energy and innovation at the US State Department.
The latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that the deployment of decarbonization technologies lags far behind what is needed to meet internationally set warming targets.
“We need to increase by a factor of a million to get to where we need to go. This means that by 2050, it (CO2 removal technology) should be as big as the oil and gas industry,” said Christian Momenthaler, CEO of insurance group Swiss Re.
The “enormous scope of the opportunity … is capturing the imagination of finance” and has encouraged significant participation from the financial industry, said Nellie Gilbert, vice president of decarbonization investment firm Carbon Direct.
The head of the International Energy Agency is urging countries and investors not to use the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a reason to increase investment in fossil fuels.
Speaking before an energy panel on Monday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Fatih Birol said the immediate response to the energy shocks caused by the war should be to increase the oil and gas market. But this does not mean large and continuous investments in fossil fuels.
Instead, he says, efficiencies, such as reducing leaking methane and even lowering thermostats a few degrees this winter in Europe, will help ensure adequate energy supplies.
Russia is a major supplier of oil and natural gas, as the invasion sent European nations scrambling to reduce their dependence on Moscow.
Occidental Petroleum CEO Vicki Hollub argued that the oil and gas industries have a central role to play in the transition to renewable energy. She says the focus should be on making fossil fuels cleaner by reducing emissions.
Holub says Occidental has invested heavily in wind and solar energy and plans to build the world’s largest direct air capture facility in the Permian Basin, across parts of Texas and New Mexico. Direct air capture is a process that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air and sequesters it.
The mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine, told business and government leaders gathered for meetings in Davos that his country stands for democratic values and human life.
“We are personally defending you,” Vitali Klitschko recalled to the audience during a World Economic Forum seminar on Monday with his brother, Vladimir.
“We fight primarily for values” and to be part of the democratic world, he said. He called on those listeners to “be proactive because we are paying for it – the biggest prize of human life every day.”
He says Ukraine needs weapons, political and economic support.
The head of the United Nations World Food Program tells billionaires it’s time to “step up” amid the threat of rising food insecurity around the world, and says he’s seen encouraging signs that Uber tycoons like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are getting involved.
The Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, drew on the kind of social media confrontation he had with Musk last year, when the Tesla CEO challenged policy advocates to show how the $6 billion donation sought by the United Nations agency could solve a problem hunger in the world.
Since then, Beasley told The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that “Musk put $6 billion into a foundation. But everyone thought he got us, but we haven’t got any yet. So I’m optimistic.”
“We’re trying every angle,” he said of Musk, “You know: Elon, we need your help, brother.”
Beasley said this message is for every billionaire because “the world is in real, serious trouble. This is not rhetoric and BS Step up now, because the world needs you.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a virtual speech at the World Economic Forum that his country needs at least $5 billion in funding per month to rebuild.
On Monday, at a meeting of business elites and government officials in the Swiss city of Davos, he said tens of thousands of lives could have been saved “if we had received 100% of our needs in one go, in February”.
He was referring to arms, funding, political support, and sanctions against Russia.
Zelensky also said that Russia is preventing important food supplies, such as wheat and sunflower oil, from leaving its ports and stealing some.
The head of the United Nations World Food Program has called for the ports to be reopened, saying farmers in the region are “growing enough food to feed 400 million people”.
If such supplies remain off the market, World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley told the Associated Press in Davos that the world could face a food availability problem in the next 10 to 12 months, and “that would be hell on earth.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for “maximum” sanctions against Russia during a virtual speech at the World Economic Forum meeting.
And he said in a hypothetical speech on Monday that sanctions should go further to stop Russian aggression, including the oil embargo, as it has banned all of its banks and cut off trade with Russia completely.
Zelensky says his country has slowed Russia’s progress and that the courage of his people has stimulated the invisible unity of the democratic world.
He demanded the complete withdrawal of foreign companies to prevent support for their war.
The founder of the World Economic Forum says that Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as climate change and the global economy are major issues at the gathering of business elites and government leaders in Davos, Switzerland.
“This war is indeed a turning point in history and will reshape our political and economic landscape in the coming years,” Klaus Schwab said Monday in a welcoming speech.
But he also says the world is at “the end of the most serious health catastrophe in the past 100 years – COVID-19”.
Schwab added that climate change and nature conservation are something that must be addressed urgently and that concerns about high inflation will affect how the future of the global economy is viewed. He pointed to fears of people falling into poverty and dying of starvation.
The head of chip maker Intel says a shortage of advanced equipment to make semiconductors could hamper global expansion plans.
CEO Pat Gelsinger said Monday that there are “very significant stretches” in delivery times for chipmaking equipment for the new chip factories, known as FABs, that the company plans to build in the United States and Europe.
“For us, that’s issue #1, actually it’s equipment delivery,” Gelsinger said at a press roundtable on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
Few suppliers manufacture high-tech semiconductor manufacturing equipment, such as the Dutch company ASML. The semiconductor shortage that erupted last year has damaged the availability of everything from cars to kitchen appliances and highlighted the industry’s vulnerability to Asian-centric manufacturing.
Intel has announced investment of tens of billions of dollars in new chipmaking facilities in Europe, including a new mega site in Germany and expansion in Ireland. In January, it announced a plan to build a $20 billion plant in Ohio.
Gelsinger said the supply of chip-making equipment is “the most important point in capacity building today.”
He added that he is urging authorities in the United States and Europe, which have each launched their own “chip law” to promote national semiconductor manufacturing, to speed up the legislation.
The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum kicked off Monday in Davos, Switzerland.
The village in the Swiss Alps has been transformed into a magical setting for the four-day conference, ostensibly dedicated to making the world a better place. The event is resuming in person after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also delayed this year’s meeting from its usual winter venue.
Thousands of corporate executives, government officials and other dignitaries filled the conference venue, to speak and listen to panel discussions on topics such as sustainability, climate change and the Russo-Ukrainian war.
Attendees also visit nearby pavilions at the main Davos set up by companies such as Intel, Accenture and Facebook owner Meta.
One of the main attractions of the opening day is a virtual keynote speech given by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. There is also a large Ukrainian government delegation attending in person, causing them to demand more Western support in the country’s fight against Russia.