DAVOS, Switzerland – The second day of the World Economic Forum was dominated by discussions over food security, climate funding, and Ukraine. Here’s what you need to know.
Food fuels protectionism
Protectionism prompted by a growing food crisis is looming large at Davos, prompting calls for urgent negotiations to avoid a full-blown trade war.
“It is a major issue, and frankly I think the problem is even bigger ahead of us than it is behind us,” Gita Gopinath, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, told Reuters of rising food security concerns.
Climate commitments tested
Six months after the world agreed in Glasgow to a United Nations climate pact with bold targets, political and business leaders facing an energy crisis, volatile markets, and an economic downturn are grappling with how to cut carbon emissions.
Amid soaring oil and gas prices triggered by Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, some countries have turned to other fuels, including coal, to meet their energy needs.
Meanwhile, financial market ructions have complicated plans to raise the trillions of dollars needed for the energy transition away from fossil fuels.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday, May 24, called for talks with Moscow on unlocking wheat exports that are trapped in Ukraine as a result of a Russian sea blockade.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week accused Russia of using food as a weapon by holding “hostage” supplies for not just Ukrainians, but also millions of people around the world. Moscow rejects this allegation.
Von der Leyen also said European Union leaders are unlikely to strike a deal on an oil embargo against Russia at their summit on Monday and Tuesday, May 30 and 31.
India’s Tata Steel is concerned New Delhi’s sudden decision to impose an export tax on some steel products could force it to review its production targets, if the levy remains in place for a long time, its chief executive officer told Reuters on Tuesday. – Rappler.com
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