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GREENPEACE

Goldman Sachs, Shell win Davos ‘shame’ prize

Campaigners at Davos on Thursday awarded their annual Public Eye shame awards to Goldman Sachs and Shell "for particularly glaring cases of companies' greed for profit and environmental sins".

At an "award ceremony" on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Swiss chapter of Greenpeace and the Bern Declaration said Goldman Sachs had won the jury prize, while Shell had been chosen by online voters for the public award.
 
Goldman Sachs "is a key player in financially driven globalization, which pays for profits of a few with exploding inequality and the impoverishment of broad strata," the groups said in a statement.
 
 They highlighted the investment bank's role in the Greek debt crisis.
 
"Goldman's derivative deals, which fudged Greece's way into the eurozone, pawned the future of the Greek people," said Andreas Missbach, a financial expert from the Bern Declaration.
 
Shell won the public vote by a wide margin among 41,800 online voters, the two groups said, singling out its "highly risky search for fossil fuels in the fragile Arctic".
 
"Shell has invested $4.5 billion into a senseless, highly risky plan and only produced problems. Greenpeace International director Kumi Naidoo said.
 
"The Public Eye Award vote shows that the public keeps an eye on Shell and that its pig-headedness will continue to be sanctioned by public opinion."

The groups have carried out the "naming and shaming awards" at the annual gathering of the world's political and business elite in the Swiss ski resort of Davos since 2000.
   
Last year's winner of the jury prize was Britain's Barclays bank, while the public award went to Brazilian mining giant Vale.

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DAVOS

Switzerland: 2021 Davos summit shifted to Lucerne in May

The World Economic Forum announced Wednesday that its postponed 2021 Davos summit, themed as "The Great Reset" in the coronavirus crisis, will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland from May 18 to 21.

Switzerland: 2021 Davos summit shifted to Lucerne in May
Participants at the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2020. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The annual gathering of the world's political, economic and business elite traditionally takes place in January against the idyllic snowy backdrop of the Swiss Alpine village of Davos.

But it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, charged with remodelling the world economy in the wake of the crisis, will now be held 125 kilometres (75 miles) away in the plush Burgenstock resort overlooking Lake Lucerne.

“The meeting will take place as long as all conditions are in place to guarantee the health and safety of participants and the host community,” WEF spokesman Adrian Monck said in a statement.

“The meeting will focus on the solutions required to address the world's most pressing challenges. “Global leaders will come together to design a common recovery path, to shape 'The Great Reset' in the post-Covid-19 era and rebuild a more cohesive and sustainable society.”

Hybrid format

The WEF announced in June that the 51st edition of its annual meeting would take place in a hybrid format, then in August said it was being delayed for several months to reduce any risks to participants from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lucerne summit will combine both in-person and virtual elements, with participants linked to a network of around 400 hubs worldwide to incorporate dialogue with the WEF's “young global shapers, to ensure openness and inclusion”, said Monck.

The summit will be preceded during the week of January 25 by digitally-convened high-level “Davos Dialogues”, when global leaders will share their views on the state of the world in 2021.

The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1.04 million people while at least 35.5 million infections have been recorded since the outbreak emerged in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

The pandemic has also triggered a global economic downturn, though the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that while it is far from over, it will not be as bad as originally feared thanks to a flood of government spending.

The World Trade Organization said likewise, forecasting a global trade contraction of 9.2 percent this year, rather than its previous “optimistic scenario” prediction of 12.9 percent.

But global trade will then grow by only 7.2 percent next year, rather than the previous 21.3-percent estimate issued in April, the WTO added.

Swiss cases rising

The WEF announcement comes as Switzerland announced Wednesday that daily coronavirus cases had jumped over the 1,000-mark for the first time since April 1, when the peak of the pandemic's initial wave began to recede.

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset has urged the country to “get a grip” and be more rigorous in applying the basic measures to control the spread of the virus.

The 2020 edition of the WEF summit, hosted in January just as the world was beginning to become aware of the new coronavirus spreading in China, drew more than 50 heads of state and government to Davos.

It focused on themes of sustainability and finding a more inclusive model for capitalism. US President Donald Trump and Swedish teenage eco-warrior Greta Thunberg were among its top speakers.

The WEF said it aims to be back in Davos for 2022.

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