People like to mock the World Economic Forum's annual gathering at Davos. There are many reasons to do so -- the exclusivity, the overt pandering to the plutocracy, jealousy about who's received an invitation. Every year, it seems, there's some variant on this Guardian article, decrying the self-interestedness of the attendees. Aditya Chakrabortty suggests that what makes Davos fascinating is that it's "the most perfect case study of how the practitioners of free-market, globalized capitalism give the public one explanation for what they are doing and why, while privately pursuing the complete opposite."
With that context, an update from the WEF. A report commissioned for this year's gathering reinforces that the world needs immediate and massive investment in the effort to halt climate change. From Reuters:
The world must spend an extra $700 billion a year to curb its addiction to fossil fuels blamed for worsening floods and heat waves and rising sea levels, a study issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF) showed on Monday. …
The Green Growth Action Alliance, which compiled the study on behalf of the WEF, said the extra spending was needed to promote other forms of energy generation and greater efficiency in sectors including building, industry and transport.
The $700 billion, part of which would promote cleaner energies such as wind, solar or hydro-power, would be on top of about $5 trillion projected to be spent each year on infrastructure under a scenario of business as usual until 2020.
The report includes an enticement for Davos attendees: more public investment means more opportunity for private investment.