For the first time, the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Risk Report claims that the top five risks the world is facing are all climate-related.
“It is the first time in the survey’s history that one category has occupied all five of the top spots," warns WEF’s president Børge Brende.
So for the fourth consecutive year, the WEF's annual meeting in Davos will be carbon-neutral, according to organisers. It's an event that sees more than 3,000 of the world’s leaders and decision-makers gather in Davos-Klosters, between 21-24 January, under the theme "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”.
The forum will be trying to walk a delicate line by claiming concern over the climate crisis and at the same time being seen as an elitist event that welcomes thousands of participants arriving in private planes and luxury cars. The 2020 guestlist include leaders of the most polluting countries in the world, including US President Donald Trump who has often expressed scepticism about the climate crisis.
In recent years, under mounting pressure over its environmental impact, the WEF implemented measures to reduce its environmental footprint and in 2018 it won ISO 20121 certification for sustainable event management. But critics question whether the forum, and its attendees in particular, are more concerned with their image than enacting real impactful change.
Watch the video above to see nine things Davos 2020 is doing to be carbon neutral
This year, the meeting’s sustainability actions will be focused on four key areas: materials, food, transport and emissions.
1. A sustainable menu
The event’s menu is 90 per cent seasonal and at least 50 per cent plant-based. And one whole day is dedicated to vegetarian food.
2. More eco-friendly transport
This year, event cars and buses are 88 per cent hybrid, compared to 66 per cent in 2019. To facilitate access, free shuttles, public buses and discounted train tickets are on offer, although walking is encouraged by the provision of a walking map to all participants.
It also works with partners in the aviation industry to increase the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent.
3. Reducing single-use plastic
The 2020 forum will completely remove single-use plastic for beverages and bags.
Where the materials come from is also important – Davos says that all materials are obtained responsibly. For example, paint used at the event is produced from algae, a renewable source.
4. Limiting energy consumption
The forum uses 100% renewable electricity and the best-in-class insulation and heating systems.
5. 25% less waste
The event aims for a circular economy, eliminating waste through recycling and reusing materials.
6. Responsible sourcing
All materials are obtained responsibly, for example, paint is produced from algae, a renewable source.
7. 100% emissions offset
Anything that cannot be eliminated, such as air travel by attendees and staff, will be offset by investing in plans to reduce carbon emission levels in the atmosphere. In 2019, 35,000 tonnes of CO2 were offset.
8. Supporting energy transition
The transition to clean energy is key in fighting the climate crisis but progress has stagnated. The forum seeks to encourage energy investments, technologies and solutions.
9. Taking action
The WEF aims to accelerate and expand action against global warming through partnerships and by bringing together a global network of business leaders to develop cost-effective solutions.