Updated: Jan 21
On the occasion of the most important annual event as for the political, economic & financial sectors, the World Economic Forum, being held in Davos (Switzerland) from the 16th until the 20th January 2023, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco attended a series of events focused on the conservation of the Polar regions and the role of philanthropy and finance in addressing nature, climate and ocean issues. In particular, the Sovereign Prince opened the session "Unpacking the Polar Crisis" by addressing a key note speech enhancing the importance of preserving the Poles for the future of our planet. Nothing can distract us from this mission « because although the Polar regions concern us all, above all they are dependent on the action of all of us », as He stated. Thus, He invited states, businesses, scientists, NGOs to be increasingly engaged in the cause.
The Sovereign Prince ended His speech by highlighting: «To re-invent a sustainable lifestyle, we need to do more than make adjustments. We need to rethink our relationship with nature, in a spirit of unity. And for that, we must draw on the sensitivity, knowledge and intelligence of those who have been able to maintain these ties (…) That is why we need to listen to them, give them a voice, allow them to carry more weight in the future, not only in their regions, but more widely in the world ».
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco moved then to the "Finance and pension funds for ocean health" session event. In this framework, he placed a strong focus on nature conservation as a cornerstone for climate action and biodiversity. He also made specific reference to the report on Ocean and Cryosphere, diffused in Monaco in 2019 by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The study is still considered an essential step to showcase the bond between climate change and the ocean as well as offering one climate-mitigation solutions driven by the oceans. Preparing the ground to accelerate decision-making and financial mechanisms is pivotal.
We are seeking to « promote ocean action (...) in which nature is no longer a sub-element, even a negative externality, but the source of new growth », He concluded.
On the 18th January 2023, a further key event was held within this year's edition of the World Economic Forum. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Crescent Enterprises encouraged the Climate and Nature Philanthropy process in the presence of the Sovereign Prince and Badr Jafar, CEO of the multinational company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. The debate, led by H.E. Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General of COP28, developed around the main idea to launch a global alliance of leading philanthropists and philanthropic organisations in order to achieve climate, ocean and biodiversity goals. Distinguished speakers joined the meeting.
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco stressed: « We are here to take action! To try and put an end to this strange situation which means that only a tiny fraction of philanthropic resources is allocated to an issue which undoubtedly has the most consequences on the future of Humankind: the preservation of the environment. Let’s (...) create financial and field-evaluation tools that will enable us to make these resources fully effective, by mobilising our contemporaries, businesses and institutions, and by encouraging multilateral institutions to be more ambitious ».
Badr Jafar, CEO, Crescent Enterprises, who is also the Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy based at the University of Cambridge and Strategic Philanthropy Initiative at NYU Abu Dhabi, underlined: « Launching this global alliance (...) will provide a platform for an emerging markets voice, allowing for the design and execution of collaborative and innovative interventions in support of the COP28 agenda and beyond, and engage in constructive conversations with the private sector to better identify opportunities for blended financing models ».
For the parties, it is therefore desirable a coordinated action to cope with expenditure assessed in $100 trillion funding required to achieve an equitable climate and nature transition by 2050. Currently only 2% of the philanthropic funds is allocated to the climate cause despite the fact that philanthropic foundations supporting mitigation actions have been tripled over the past five years, growing from $900 million to $3 billion annually. However, worldwide funding distribution is not homogeneous and continues to concentrate in United States, Canada, and Europe.
The alliance will collaborate closely with the World Economic Forum’s Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA), a public-private-philanthropy partnership for climate and nature calling for a multi-stakeholder and multi-sector approach to embrace global philanthropy to catalyse climate action.
World Economic Forum: brief introduction.
The World Economic Forum is a non-profit foundation based in Cologny, near Geneva, Switzerland, founded in 1971 on the initiative of the Swiss economist and academic Klaus Schwab. The first edition was originally named European Management Symposium and held in Geneva. It was then converted in the current name in 1987.
Every winter, the Foundation organizes a meeting with selected intellectuals and journalists at the ski resort town of Davos in Switzerland, to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world, including health and the environment. In addition to this annual meeting, the World Economic Forum organizes an annual meeting in China and the United Arab Emirates and several regional meetings. The Foundation also produces a series of research reports and engages its members in specific sectoral initiatives.
The 2023 edition gathered more than 2,700 world leaders from the governmental sector, business, civil society, academic world and media to tackle the most urgent global issues within 300 sessions.
The attendance of the Sovereign Prince at the World Economic Forum was crucial to give a further step in fostering a strongly interconnected and multidisciplinary approach to solve the biggest environmental issues. His commitment is remarkable considering that nature preservation and sustainable development are extremely complex and cannot be trivialised.
As a matter of fact, the exhausting continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and other centres of tension around the world, including the unsustainable situation in Syria affected by a serious humanitarian and economic crisis, should lead global decision makers to select environmental actions able to be feasible and effective at the same time on the sole basis of the most likely scientific data.
In view of the ongoing energy crisis that has led to a further increase in the cost of goods and services all over the world, excessively severe environmental actions could be counterproductive. The concept of "Sustainability", in fact, must not be the cause of a technological and cultural regression of humankind but encourages a constant evolution between human beings and the natural world in mutual respect.
As recently stated by Wallace Manherimer, one of the most illustrious nuclear physicists from the Plasma Physics Division dello U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 'green' alarmist propaganda pushing costly and impracticable measures could be harmful and even contribute to "the end of modern civilisation". All that should make us reflect on the importance of keeping a wide open debate that addresses the problem in various aspects and provides the best solutions from a sustainability perspective. ***
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