Davos Agenda

Davos 2023 day 2 – Radio Davos: the economy and climate

“I think we need to think very differently about growth," one guest said to Radio Davos.

“I think we need to think very differently about growth," one guest said to Radio Davos. Image: World Economic Forum / Boris Bal

Robin Pomeroy
Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

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Welcome to the Day 2 Radio Davos podcast. On this show, co-hosted by Bloomberg climate change reporter and host of the Zero podcast, Akshat Rathi, we dive into the Chief Economists Outlook, look at the situation in Iran with Nazanin Boniadi and discuss the energy crisis.

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Key quotes from Radio Davos on Day 2:

Cost of living and energy crises

Akshat Rathi, host of the Zero podcast from Bloomberg

“We've seen that over the past year as a cost-of-living crisis has been squeezing especially people here in Europe more than other parts of the world, because the solutions for tackling climate change are also tied to the solutions to deal with the cost-of-living crisis. So, renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuel energy, and fossil fuel prices are very high right now. So, the more and faster you build out renewables, the cheaper your energy is going to be. Same thing with food, which is another inflationary metric that's caused the cost-of-living crisis to grow.”

Roberto Bocca, head of Energy, Materials and Infrastructure at the World Economic Forum

“When everything is running smoothly we talk a bit less about it. Now there is a crisis and everybody is realising how important energy is. It underpins all elements of our life. And this is true in any country we are in at the moment and these impacts of these crises are impacting everyone. So that's why it is so important at this moment.

"And when we think of the transition of the energy system, we build an energy system that is more resilient but also more fitting the world of the future where also water and food are so important.”

Economic Growth

Saadia Zahidi, Head of the Forum’s Centre for the New Economy and Society

“I think we need to think very differently about growth. So simply achieving 3% growth, for example — that can come from war, that can come from very negative externalities for the planet, that can come at the price of people's dignity and health. Or it can be done in a way that improves living standards, that actually changes the direction of our economies to one that leads to a sustainable relationship with the planet. And it can be done in a way that really lifts people up and provides opportunity for all. That's what we have to change. And so, it's not so much about what is the growth target. It's about the type of growth.”

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Inflation

Nela Richardson, ADP Chief Economist

“When economists talk about the cost-of-living crisis easing, they're not talking about the level. Those prices have largely gone up and they're unlikely to go back down. What they're saying, what we are saying, is the perception is that the rate of increase is slowing. Where does that leave the typical worker? Well, it means that you're still seeing higher prices than you saw two years ago.

"The second thing about inflation is that it is likely to recede, but it's not likely to go back to sleep like it did for the past 40 years in most major economies in the world, large economies in the world. I think those days are gone.

"As unwelcome as higher interest rates are to most businesses and households, what's more unwelcomed by far is inflation. So, getting inflation back down is job number one of monetary authorities across the world."

The power of music

Farah Siraj, singer and activist

“I feel like music really can have a very powerful impact, and especially when it has a message. So, for me, you know, growing up in Jordan, I had a lot of friends that were refugees or descendants of refugees, particularly Palestinian refugees, and also war was just around the corner.

“A lot of my music is to raise awareness about the consequences of war and violence, and particularly the consequences for women and children."

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