Protests to Fight Inequality Call on Davos to go Beyond Economic Recovery

‘Global Action Needs to Tackle Climate Change and Inequality’ 

“People on the frontlines of inequality” in cities in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines held rallies and organized online actions last week to call on business, government and civil society leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum (WEF) to urgently address climate change and inequality.

“The climate crisis and the worsening inequality are intertwined. Millions of people are struggling to survive under a highly unequal and unjust economic system. The pandemic and its economic fall-out have worsened their situation. These conditions render them most vulnerable to climate change impacts which in turn will lead to greater displacement and impoverishment,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).

Nacpil added:  “Inequality will worsen as climate change intensifies. Global action needs to tackle climate change and inequality together. We need to do this urgently.”

A 2019 Stanford University study found that climate change has worsened global economic inequality. According to the study, the gap between the economic output of the world’s richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without global warming. 

Nacpil said the protests aimed to highlight the voices of the people who are on the frontlines of inequality and whose fate are tied to the course of the global recovery the participants of the annual Davos forum are discussing.

“The people on the frontlines of inequality are pushing for a rebuilding of the system, not economic recovery from Covid. We cannot continue with the current system that exploits people and the planet. We need a system that will fix inequality and the escalating climate emergency,” said Nacpil.

“We are now at the threshold of the most critical decade for climate action. This decade is our last chance to prevent run-away climate catastrophe and stabilize global temperature rise to the safest level still possible, which is below 1.5 degrees Celsius. We cannot waste anymore time. Rebuild, not reset,” Nacpil said, referencing “The Great Reset,” the theme of the WEF Special Annual Meeting this year. The WEF will convene the Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore from 25-28 May. It will return to Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, for the Annual Meeting 2022. The Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore will be the first global leadership event to address worldwide recovery from the pandemic.

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