Big guns meet in Davos

pachauri1.jpgIf the world’s media are to be believed, the masters of the universe are meeting in the (ugly) Swiss resort of Davos for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The usual suspects have turned up for drinks , a chinwag and perhaps the odd business deal. Given the cost of joining the club, it’s only for the very wealthy and/or influential. The pollies are also in the house, trying to find peace in their spare time, but as usual to no great effect…

This year they are ostensibly discussing how to slow climate change (although given that many of them have been in charge for some time and not done anything, I wouldn’t hand over the keys to the family car) and ending poverty (please note that if someone is rich, that means someone else ain’t).

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Climate concerns

storm.jpgThe Swiss are apparently the most worried people in the world about global warming according to a poll carried out by the Nielsen Company in 47 countries. To counter climate change, 68 per cent of those polled said they would buy local products, while nearly half said they would choose products with the least packaging. Given their concern, the Swiss might take on board the proposal made in Bern by the head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the other Nobel Peace Prize winner this year whose name isn’t Al Gore). Rajendra Pachauri called on the Swiss to take a leading role in the fight against climate change as they had the financial and human resources to make a difference.

Tourism industry takes note of climate change

tourism.jpgClimate change is slowly becoming an issue for tourism specialists. High-ranking officials have been gathering in the Swiss resort of Davos to find ways to deal with it. The meeting called by the United Nations World Tourism Organization discussed measures including how reduce the industry’s large carbon footprint, but ended up with just a plea that efforts to reduce this footprint should not come at the expense of poor nations. The UNWTO says that tourism is responsible for up to six per cent of the world’s total CO2 emissions. It appeared that delegates at the meeting were taking little notice of the environmental damage they are causing. For more information about climate change and its impact on tourism, also see swissinfo’s special dossier.