Climate activist Greta Thunberg, who attended the conference, joined a group of about 50 demonstrators, some of whose signs read, “Stop (f)lying to us.” Elsewhere, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks on the next phase of the U.S.-China trade deal will begin “in the near future,” and that Beijing will waive some tariffs as part of a deal to buy an additional US$200 billion in American products. (Reuters)
Talking point: This year’s conference has been widely framed as a contest between U.S. President Donald Trump and Thunberg (including by this reporter), and climate-change concerns dominated the WEF’s annual global risk list. But the biggest environmental promise to emerge from the event was a WEF initiative to plant one trillion trees, backed financially by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne. Thunberg said that isn’t enough on its own to have an impact. The WEF’s International Business Council said an unspecified number of its members—including accounting majors Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG—had agreed to adopt a new reporting system for their employment standards and environmental impact. But critics say trees and transparency won’t make up for the likely effects on emissions of major economic developments, like the trade deal on which Mnuchin’s working.