Ms. Brandt: And I think that’s interesting, too, about getting street-by-street air quality data. What we’re seeing in cities around the world is it’s often the most urban populations who have the worst air quality. So when you actually have that granularity of data, it becomes very stark and very clear that there are issues, and there are opportunities to address them, and you can really see that disparity actually in the air quality data.
Averting a Climate Apocalypse
Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager and climate activist, made the opening remarks at a Times panel, “Averting a Climate Apocalypse,” moderated by Rebecca Blumenstein, deputy managing editor of The Times, with Jun Ma, the director of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs in China; Oliver Bäte, the chief executive of Allianz; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, coordinator of the Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad; and Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Ms. Blumenstein: Five years after the Paris Accord, governments need to reset their goals and businesses are finally and quickly talking about setting goals. We have top voices from across the world to discuss the urgency of the situation and next steps. But we are going to start with some words from Greta Thunberg, who made headlines around the world last year by saying here at Davos that our house is on fire.
Ms. Thunberg: I joined a group of climate activists demanding that you, the world’s most powerful and influential business and political leaders, begin to take the action needed. We demand, at this year’s World Economic Forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction; immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies; and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don’t want these things done by 2050 or 2030 or even 2021. We want this done now.
Mr. Ma: China’s emissions [goals] have not been accomplished. We’re still burning half of the world’s coal. We need to do more. But now, at this moment, we’re facing the economic downturn locally and globally. We’re facing the [trade]war and also the withdrawal by the U.S. government from the Paris agreement. All these are not helpful. So we need to find innovative solutions which tap into the market power, which can balance growth and protection. But all this needs people to join the efforts. So with that, I truly salute the efforts to raise public awareness.