Olaf Scholz, the Federal Chancellor of Germany, addressed The Davos Agenda 2022. Image: World Economic Forum/Pascal Bitz
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- The Davos Agenda 2022 heard from new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, leaders from across Latin America and on the energy transition and accelerating climate innovation.
- Global collaboration, the transition to clean energy and the role of innovation were just some of the key takeaways.
- You can read more about what was said below.
Well, we're more than halfway through The Davos Agenda 2022. Today we heard from Olaf Scholz, the new Federal Chancellor of Germany, in a special address.
We also hosted sessions on Latin America - featuring the Presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru - the energy transition, and accelerating climate innovation, featuring Bill Gates, John Kerry and more.
It was a day that featured plenty of discussions on the future of the environment and our planet. Here are three key takeaways.
Global collaboration and action
"We will no longer wait for the slowest and least ambitious," Chancellor Olaf Scholz said. Climate action must become a competitive advantage, he added.
We need a paradigm shift in global climate policy.
John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, was also clear on the need for action. "Nobody is moving fast enough," he told the Accelerating and Scaling Up Climate Innovation session.
Citing the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, also emphasized the need for action.
The public and private sector need to work together, Jose Pedro Castillo Terrones, President of the Republic of Peru, told The Davos Agenda 2022.
Businesses can't afford to not change when the world around you is changing, Anna Borg, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vattenfall, told the Accelerating and Scaling Up Climate Innovation session.
Progress is being made, too. Guillermo Lasso, President of the Republic of Ecuador, gave a tangible example of international collaboration to protect the planet that's already happened in 2022.
The transition to clean energy
For the last 250 years, our prosperity has depended on burning fossil fuels. The effects of climate change are felt across the world, but Germany faces a 'monumental task' in becoming net-zero by 2045, Chancellor Scholz cautioned.
Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the IEA, was on the same page - it will require a 'Herculean effort' to go from 80% of energy coming from fossil fuels to net-zero by 2050, he told the Navigating the Energy Transition session.
He, and Björn Rosengren, the President and Chief Executive Officer, ABB Ltd, agreed on the role of reducing energy waste in achieving this goal.
Efficiency will drive more than 40% of the reduction in greenhouse gases, Rosengren explained. Or as Birol put it, "At the IEA, we call energy efficiency the 'first fuel'".
Colombia is also working to accelerate the energy transition and increase the share of renewables, President Ivan Duque said.
The role of innovation
We need a common understanding of green hydrogen, explained Chancellor Olaf Scholz. There are, however, clear benefits, he added.
He wasn't the only world leader to discuss green hydrogen, either.
Equally, emissions abatement will not be enough, Vicki Hollub, President and Chief Executive Officer, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, told the Navigating the Energy Transition session, we will also need extraction.
The technology is there, she believes, it just needs to be put together the right way.
There are already real-world examples of projects and new techniques in hard-to-abate sectors, too, said Anna Borg. A process has been developed where real hydrogen is used to make steel, and the CO2 footprint is basically erased. It's not just a good idea or an R&D project, she explained.
But, more investment in clean energy technologies is needed, John Kerry said. Things are not moving fast enough, he cautioned.
The First Movers Coalition will help with this funding, though, by bringing the public and private sector together, explained Bill Gates, Founder, Breakthrough Energy & Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
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