The global elite have descended upon the ski resort of Davos to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in their private jets, chartered planes, and super-rich lifestyles traveling halfway across the globe to speak and find solutions on building a sustainable and cohesive world.
On the eve of the meeting, Oxfam released a report that the world’s richest 2153 people control more wealth than the poorest 4.6 billion people combined in 2019. Moreover, women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without pay or recognition. According to the report, unpaid or underpaid work by women adds three times more to the global economy than the tech industry.
Do the super-rich have the right to shape global, regional and industry agendas and decide the fate of billions of others? It would be naive to expect that billionaires will come to our rescue to address income inequalities or the climate crisis. There is a need to change and end the billionaire boom. Governments should ensure that the super-rich pay higher taxes which should be utilized for public welfare.
A notable example was the two opposing sides of the climate crisis at the Davos Summit. US President Trump delivered a rather bullish speech lashing out at the environmental ‘prophets of doom’ and those raising alarm over the issue. Trump reeled off a list of achievements for the American economy and touted the United States as the “number one producer of oil and natural gas”. The climate skeptic gave an uncompromising message to activists warning about global warming and other environmental disasters.
This was in sharp contrast to teenage schoolgirl Greta Thunberg who said that nothing has been done to fight climate change. While the starkly different versions of the climate crisis were laid bare, another report by Greenpeace complained that some of the world’s biggest banks, insurers, and pension funds have collectively invested $1.4 trillion in fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate deal in 2016.
The charity has accused many of those in attendance at the summit for failing to live up to WEF’s goal of improving the state of the world. Another report by the UN has said that nearly half a billion people lack access to decent jobs which is causing social unrest. The participants at Davos are part of the problem and there can be no solution expected from them.