In what is seemingly another veiled attempt to get Davos panellists to send a message to Trump, Al Gore asks Jacinda Arden to conjure a world leader in her mind.
It can be “man or woman” he says – trying to stay vague – who doesn’t want to do anything about the climate crisis, and is “hostile” to any efforts to take action. What would you say to them, he asks.
Jacinda says she’s not sure she would say anything at all but instead show something. “It only takes a trip to the Pacific to see that climate change isn’t a hypothetical,” and it doesn’t even require any knowledge of the science behind it. She said someone from the Pacific islands could show you where they used to play as children and where the water has risen to now.
Then it’s a matter of then saying that you don’t have to cede power by acting on climate change, and assuring there’s nothing to fear about their individual status. “It’s about being on the right side of history,” and being the politician looking back and knowing you were on the “right side” when the world was “crying out for a solution”.
Ardern: I was bood over climate views (not any more!)
Jacinda Ardern says she aims to to bring the New Zealand Maori philosophy of ‘guardianship’ of the environment into politics.
She said the challenge is to deeply embed the infrastructure of long term change during a short political cycles that can be as short as three years.
“There’s a reason to be optimistic.” Jacinda remembers that just 10 years ago she was booed by other politicians, and even her own family, when talking about climate change and environmentalism.
There’s been a marked shift since then, she said, adding that it’s important not to go it alone. She thanked Attenborough for being a trusted voice that helped “create space” for politicians to do the right thing.
She said now we need to turn pessimism and fear on its head, and into an opportunity to “future proof” society and the economy. The PM says it’s the “only option”.
Kristalina Georgieva, the acting head of the World Bank has told a panel on investing in fragile states that there are four big reasons why countries are in a bad way: conflict, climate, high population growth and bad governance.
One of the best ways to improve things was to empower women.
“In a crisis environment you give a sense of strength to women and you have a better chance of peace”.
David Miliband, the former foreign secretary and now chief executive of the International Rescue Committee said on the same panel that displacement of peoples was seen as a short-term problem when in fact it was a long-term problem.
“People are more likely to be displaced for 17 years than 17 months”, he said, adding that it was a “dereliction of duty” that only 2% of the humanitarian aid budget was spent on education.