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Davos short on climate pledges, but sparks talks on tech, soil, health

Climate was core to this year’s World Economic Forum agenda. But while clean energy and green tech took center stage, corporate pledges or talk of loss and damage were conspicuous in their absence.

With the Davos meetings done and dusted, we are taking a moment to unpack the major climate takeaways from this year’s World Economic Forum annual meeting. Once relegated to the periphery, the environment has recently been embraced by WEF as one of its core pillars. This year’s promise was: A Long-Term Strategy for Climate, Nature and Energy. The reality however was, much like the snowy Davos sidewalks, more slippery than solid.

The week’s agenda was heavy with words including “sustainability,” “natural capital,” and “energy transition.” Still, few leaders made any funding pledges or public commitments — particularly when it comes to supporting climate change adaptation in low- and middle-income countries.

The most notable announcement was a new Corporate Philanthropy Challenge for People and Planet by the Giving to Amplify Earth Action to encourage business foundations to give at least $1 billion to environmental causes by 2030. This WEF initiative launched last year has also promised to focus on a few public-private-philanthropic partnerships. Among them is the Humanitarian and Resilience Investing initiative, whose goal is to mobilize $10 billion in commercial and “catalytic capital” to enable 1,000 businesses to scale in frontier markets by the end of this decade.

This dearth of newsworthy commitments may partly be a scheduling issue. A growing number of Davos usuals are now also attending the annual U.N.Climate Change Conference, or COP, which corporates are starting to recognize as a better PR megaphone for their ESG pledges. Since COP 28 was unusually late in the year and Davos unusually early, exhausted sustainability officers may just have had little time to strategize over the holidays.

Original Source: Devex

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