2021 World Economic Forum to convene virtually, focusing on rebuilding trust

Over 1,500 delegates, including 15 G20 world leaders, from 70 countries will virtually attend this year’s annual five-day World Economic

world economic forum 2020

Photo: AP

Over 1,500 delegates, including 15 G20 world leaders, from 70 countries will virtually attend this year’s annual five-day World Economic Forum online.

A theme of “rebuilding trust”, will guide conference participants to seek public consensus on post-COVID-19 global issues, with environmental sustainability and fairer economic policies among them. Job growth in new green industries is likely to be a major avenue for achieving public buy-in on sustainability by creating new jobs for financially dependent households. This was a key plank of newly inaugurated US president Joe Biden’s election to office.

The EU, French and German delegations will almost certainly propose ramping up funding of the “green recovery” like the $608 billion EU Green Fund to subsidise renewable energy industries. China’s Xi Jinping will likely advocate for greater funding for green infrastructure in developing countries, which accords with Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure spending.

However, expect public trust in sustainability to be challenging this year since fossil fuel industries still support millions of jobs worldwide. Most G20 countries aimed their economic rescue packages last year at their fossil fuel sectors by a combined $151 billion. By comparison, only $89 billion went to clean energy.

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