NEW YORK, 23rd September, 2022 (WAM) — The World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Meetings convened against a complex backdrop of interconnected crises that threaten progress on both climate change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This includes soaring global energy costs, driven by developments in Ukraine, as well as high inflation and a rise in commodity prices, plunging millions more into food insecurity and poverty.
From 19-23 September 2022, over 800 leaders from the private sector, government and civil society gathered from across the world to agree concrete actions to address these pressing issues.
“Finding ways to work together is all the more important in an increasingly fractured world,” said Børge Brende, President and Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum. “Despite challenging headwinds, there are instances – pockets – of collaboration that are not only promising, but offer insight into what makes cooperation possible, and even durable.”
The Sustainable Development Impact Meetings centred on four themes, with the challenge of responding to climate change cutting across them all: scaling climate action; accelerating industry transformation; shaping resilient economies and societies; and advancing regional and global cooperation.
During the meetings, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal at the European Commission, emphasized the importance of putting people first. “We can only solve the climate crisis if we put people’s health, prospects and livelihoods at the heart of our actions and interventions,” he said.
At the meetings, experts came to discuss the fragility of interconnected global resource systems and the need to include food in the climate discussion, especially as global food systems have come under enormous pressure. “When food fails, everything fails,” said Geraldine Matchett, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Royal DSM. “We must work to transform our food systems to be resilient, sustainable and healthy.”
Business leaders across industries shared their ambitions, concrete plans and actions. “The private sector plays a vital role in helping countries across the world navigate the current energy and food crises while continuing to strive for higher climate ambitions,” said Mirek Dušek, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.