Leadership

A billion skills, a trillion trees, and Prince Charles urging us back from the brink - Day 2 at Davos 2020

Britain's Prince Charles delivers a special address during the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse - RC22LE9XW0VE

Prince Charles in Davos Image: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Robin Pomeroy
Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum
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This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

"Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink?" Prince Charles asked at Davos, urging action to stop the worst of climate change.

A day after US President Donald Trump said we should be optimistic and ignore the "prophets of doom", at Day Two in Davos 2020, many speakers were stressing the dangers of global warming and seeking solutions.

Here are four highlights from Davos today.

1. Prince Charles meets Greta

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A veteran of environmental awareness, who also happens to be heir to the British throne, met a relative newcomer, 17-year-old climate campaigner Greta Thunberg.

They clearly have a lot in common.

Quiz time: guess who said this, Charles or Greta?

"Global warming, climate change and the devastating loss of biodiversity are the greatest threats humanity has ever faced ... We simply cannot waste anymore time ... the time to act is now."

"The transition isn’t going to be easy. It will be hard. And unless we start facing this now together, with all cards on the table, we won’t be able to solve this in time ... . No political ideology or economic structure has been able to tackle the climate and environmental emergency and create a cohesive and sustainable world."

You'll find the answer here, and here.

2. A billion, a trillion - the future of jobs, and trees

The World Economic Forum launched two initiatives with massive numbers.

Its Reskilling Revolution aims to help provide one billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030. That's how many jobs are likely to be transformed by technology in the next decade.

The Forum's Saadia Zahidi explains what the jobs of the future will look like. Spoiler: they'll be more human than robotic.

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One trillion trees: that's what the Forum's 1t.org initiative aims to grow, restore and conserve around the world. Naturalist Jane Goodall even suggests we give some of them names.

3. Imran Khan tells Trump: please, no war with Iran

When the Prime Minister of Pakistan met Donald Trump in Davos, he told him what he thought about the possibility of the US entering a war with his country's neighbour, Iran.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a bilateral meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC2GKE9Y94DT
When Trump met Khan Image: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

"It will be a disaster - it will cause poverty in the world - and God knows how long it may go on. I spoke to President Trump yesterday and I told him it would be disaster for us if this war starts. In my opinion it will be insanity."

4. The pop star and the girl fighting against guns

will.i.am is a global pop star who also helped make a documentary about the students and families that survived a mass school shooting, Parkland Rising. In Davos he met Naomi Wadler, who led a walk-out at her elementary school in Virginia to mark the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting.

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Wadler was only 11 at the time of the Parkland shooting and said the scariest part was "being numb to it".

"I was used to it, it was almost mundane. It’s horrifying, so being able to talk to the Parkland kids and share their pain and realise we deserve better than this was a great experience."

You can follow all the sessions from Davos here, and follow the meeting across social media using the hashtag #WEF20. And you can submit your own ideas on how to make the world a fairer place here.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
LeadershipDavos AgendaClimate ChangeEconomic Progress
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