Davos: the epitome of virtue-signalling
Business and political leaders attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum are used to making grandiose statements about their commitment to the fight against climate change. Xavi Viñolas, editor of 11Onze, visits the Energia programme to analyse whether there is substance behind the official rhetoric.
One of the main criticisms of the WEF is that it is a meeting of the global elite, more interested in networking and promoting their own interests than in taking concrete action to address the world’s problems. This is especially true of the fight against climate change.
This year’s summit confirms this trend with many words but only some concrete actions. As Viñolas explains, “on the one hand, they are slapping ExxonMobil on the wrist for hiding reports that confirm the link between hydrocarbons and climate change, while on the other, they are doing everything they can to increase the profits of companies involved in the exploitation of fossil fuels”.
The “green war” has little green in it
What some are already calling the “green war” between the United States and the European Union as a result of the subsidies to encourage the purchase of electric cars announced by the American giant has little to do with the fight against climate change or promoting energy transition. “In reality, there is a commercial, economic and geopolitical background to the US trade war against China,” says the 11Onze editor.
This is a perfect example of protectionism through subsidies to prevent China from taking a big slice of the electric car production pie, which is why these subsidies are linked to these zero-emission vehicles being made in the United States. The European Union’s response has been swift, announcing the creation of a sovereign wealth fund to counteract the effect of the American subsidy law.
The leaders of the Davos forum tell us that this is a race to see who can do the most to promote the energy transition, but the truth is that this race is more about protecting their economic interests than advancing the chimaera of which they boast about.
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