DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The Latest on the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland:
The head of the United Nations says the world is in a “sorry state” because of myriad “interlinked” challenges including climate change and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland, that the struggles are “piling up like cars in a chain reaction crash.”
Guterres said the widest levels of geopolitical division and mistrust in generations are undermining efforts to tackle global problems, which also include widening inequality, a cost-of-living crisis sparked by soaring inflation and an energy crunch, lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and more.
He singled out climate change as an “existential challenge,” saying a global commitment to limit the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius “is nearly going up in smoke.”
Guterres referenced a recent study that found scientists at Exxon Mobil made remarkably accurate predictions about the effects of climate change as far back as the 1970s, even as the company publicly doubted that warming was real.
He said, “Some in Big Oil peddled the big lie.”
— Ukraine’s first lady urges leaders to use influence amid war
— EU chief offers clean tech plan to compete with China, US
— World Food Program postpones, not averts Somali famine
— Elon Musk apparently wasn’t on the Davos guest list
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Japan’s minister of trade and industry says the world’s third-largest economy needs more innovation and younger leadership.
Minister of Economy Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura said, “Japan’s economy has long been run by a bunch of old men.”
Speaking in a panel Wednesday at the World Economic Forum’s gathering in Davos, Switzerland, he said, “We need to change this drastically, because we need diverse ideas to bring about innovation in the new era. You shouldn’t make decisions with only old men who have spent a long time in the same company.”
Despite trade tensions between Beijing and Washington and other trading partners, Nishimura said it’s unrealistic to cut off economic ties with China, so “a complete decoupling is not possible, but we need to manage the risks and cooperate with like-minded nations.”
Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska dabbed teary eyes before attending a World Economic Forum session in Davos, Switzerland, as she heard the news that a helicopter carrying Ukraine’s interior minister and other officials crashed in Ukraine.
Forum President Borge Brende requested 15 seconds of silence Wednesday to honor the 18 people killed in the crash, including Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi and other officials, before the opening the session.
Zelenska said it was “another very sad day today. New losses.”
She told those attending the session: “I think you understand my emotions. Perhaps they’re a little bit out of place in the political and economic dialogue, but I am sure that just as the war has changed the whole world, it has also changed all of our dialogue. We can also change this negative situation for the better.”
Her husband, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is scheduled to speak via video later in the day as the Ukrainian delegation pushes for more weapons from international allies.
Speaking shortly before Zelenskyy is German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is facing pressure to send tanks to Ukraine.
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