Daily: 19/01/2023

Нідерланди завершують план щодо Patriot для України, деталі оголосять завтра – ЗМІ

«Ми приєднуємося до Сполучених Штатів і Німеччини в їхньому проекті з надання Patriot Україні» – сказала міністр борони Нідерландів

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САП просить суд взяти Коболєва під варту, він прокоментував звинувачення

За повідомленням, судове засідання з обрання запобіжного заходу має відбутися сьогодні ж, 19 січня

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Muzzled in Afghanistan, Activists Protest Abroad 

From Lafayette Park in front of the White House to the streets of London, Toronto and many other cities around the world, activists have been staging small protests to condemn the Taliban’s repressive policies against women in Afghanistan and call for a stronger international response.

While they attract a relatively small number of participants, the protests have increased in frequency over the last year, largely in response to growing Taliban restrictions on women inside Afghanistan.

On January 14, fewer than 100 protesters showed up at Farragut Square Park in Washington to chant slogans against the Taliban’s recent edict banning universities and work for Afghan girls and women. On the same day, about three dozen protesters gathered in heavy rain in Los Angeles, making similar demands.

“In Los Angeles, we called for an end to the gender apartheid instilled by the Taliban,” Arash Azizada, an Afghan American community organizer, told VOA.

The protests take place as women and civil society activists inside Afghanistan have gone silent under Taliban rule.

‘We want to be their voices’

Human rights groups accuse Taliban authorities of forcefully banning protests, detaining and torturing activists, and censoring the media. The Taliban strongly reject the allegations and instead claim they have freed the country from a U.S. invasion.

The protesters outside Afghanistan say they show solidarity with Afghan women whose rights are being crushed under the Taliban’s undemocratic rule.

“We want to be their voices. We want to be their bridge to the world,” said Asila Wardak, a former Afghan diplomat and now a fellow at Harvard University who participated in several protests in the U.S.

The Afghan protesters are part of a widespread global chorus that demands the Taliban immediately reverse restrictions imposed on women’s work and education in Afghanistan.

But the Taliban have remained defiant, giving no clarity about when or whether the will be lifted.

“Anti-government protests outside the country that the government controls (e.g., anti-Iranian government protests that take place in Washington) do not seem to have much impact in the country that the protests concern,” Thomas Carothers of the Global Protest Tracker at the Carnegie Endowment told VOA by email.

“Repressive governments are usually able to control news of such events,” he said.

While U.S. and European officials have often voiced support for Afghan women and have imposed travel and economic sanctions on Taliban leaders and institutions, protesters say the international community should undertake meaningful action to dissuade and disable the Taliban from depriving millions of women of their basic rights.

“Just issuing statements of solidarity with Afghan women is not enough,” said Wardak. “The international community should facilitate opportunities for Afghan women to directly engage the Taliban and demand accountability.”

Azizzada, an activist in Los Angeles, said a meaningful response to the Taliban’s perceived misogyny would be for the U.S. and its Western allies to offer more asylum and educational opportunities for Afghans.

“If Afghan girls cannot learn in Afghanistan, they should be allowed to do so in the United States or elsewhere,” Azizzada said.

Local voices

Since the Taliban seized power in August 2021, more than 150,000 Afghans, among them many women leaders and activists, have been evacuated or given asylum in the U.S., Canada and European countries.

Many evacuees have engaged in high-profile advocacy for change in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Some activists have received prestigious awards and fellowships at elite universities, giving them a bully pulpit from which to write for and appear in prominent media outlets.

Now there are concerns that the activists in the Western countries are given too much attention at the cost of women inside Afghanistan.

“Efforts outside of Afghanistan should complement the activism of those inside the country and not hijack the narrative and present unrealistic solutions,” said Obaidullah Baheer, a Kabul analyst.

Even while women are not allowed to advocate for their rights inside Afghanistan, Baheer said, “it should not mean that their voices be ignored.”

That Afghan women have continued to suffer under the Taliban, despite protests and advocacy outside Afghanistan, is not disputed by some prominent activists.

“I believe that protests have impacts on the situation,” Zarifa Ghafari, a former Afghan official who now advocates for Afghan women’s rights from Germany, told VOA. “But I do not have confidence in the scattered gatherings by Afghans, and you have not seen any positive result over the past one and one-half years.”

Taliban officials have largely ignored the Afghan protests abroad or labeled the protesters as Western puppets.

Inside Afghanistan, however, nearly all Afghans have rated their lives as “suffering,” and a majority have said that women are disrespected under the Taliban, according to a recent Pew survey.


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Greta Thunberg: Energy Firms Throwing People ‘Under the Bus’

Greta Thunberg called on the global energy industry and its financiers to end all fossil fuel investments on Thursday at a high-profile meeting in Davos with the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

During a round-table discussion with Fatih Birol on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, activists said they had presented a “cease and desist” letter to CEOs calling for a stop to new oil, gas and coal extraction.

“As long as they can get away with it, they will continue to invest in fossil fuels, they will continue to throw people under the bus,” Thunberg warned.

‘Slight legitimate optimism’

The oil and gas industry, which has been accused by activists of hijacking the climate change debate in the Swiss ski resort, has said that it needs to be part of the energy transition as fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in the energy mix as the world shift to a low-carbon economy.

Thunberg, who was detained by police in Germany this week during a demonstration at a coal mine, joined with fellow activists Helena Gualinga from Ecuador, Vanessa Nakate from Uganda, and Luisa Neubauer from Germany to discuss the tackle the big issues with Birol.

Birol, whose agency makes policy recommendations on energy, thanked the activists for meeting him, but insisted that the transition had to include a mix of stakeholders, especially in the face of the global energy security crisis.

The IEA chief, who earlier on Thursday met with some of the biggest names in the oil and gas industry in Davos, said there was no reason to justify investments in new oil fields because of the energy crunch, saying by the time these became operational the climate crisis would be worse.

He also said he was less pessimistic than the climate activists about the shift to clean energy.

“We can have slight legitimate optimism,” he said, adding: “Last year the amount of renewables coming to the market was record high.”

But he admitted that the transition was not happening fast enough and warned that emerging and developing countries risked being left behind if advanced economies did not support the transition.

‘A need for real money’

The United Nations’ climate conference, held in Egypt last year, established a loss and damage fund to compensate countries most impacted by climate change events.

Nakate, who held a solitary protest outside the Ugandan parliament for several months in 2019, said the fund “is still an empty bucket with no money at all.”

“There is a need for real money for loss and damage.”

In 2019, the then 16-year-old Thunberg took part in the main WEF meeting, famously telling leaders that “our house is on fire.” She returned to Davos the following year.

But she refused to participate as an official delegate this year as the event returned to its usual January slot.

Asked why she did not want to advocate for change from the inside, Thunberg said there were already activists doing that.

“I think it should be people on the frontlines and not privileged people like me,” she said. “I don’t think the changes we need are very likely to come from the inside. They are more likely to come from the bottom up.”

The activists later walked together through the snowy streets of Davos, where many of the shops have temporarily been turned into “pavilions” sponsored by companies or countries.

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Молдова закликала союзників допомогти їй з посиленням ППО – ЗМІ

Молдова закликала союзників допомогти зміцнити її можливості протиповітряної оборони, повідомляє Sky News.

«Ми запросили системи повітряного спостереження та оборони. Ми розуміємо, що Україна є пріоритетом», – сказала президентка Молдови Майя Санду.

Після останньої масованої російської ракетної атаки 14 січня у Молдові заявили, що в прикордонному Бричанському районі виявили залишки ракети. Це вже третій випадок, коли залишки ракет від бомбардувань України падають на територію Молдови.

Попередні інциденти з падінням залишків ракет у дні, коли РФ атакувала Україну, було зафіксовано в Молдові у жовтні та грудні 2022 року. Також торік на початку жовтня три крилаті ракети, запущені з російських морських кораблів, пройшли через територію Молдови. Тоді Росія заперечила факт порушення повітряного простору Молдови.

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Іран не визнав анексію Криму та ще чотирьох регіонів України – міністр закордонних справ

«Ми визнаємо суверенітет та територіальну цілісність країн у рамках міжнародних законів» – Абдоллахіян

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France Faces Strikes Over Pension Overhaul

Workers striking in protest of France’s proposed pension overhauls disrupted transportation, schools and electricity supplies Thursday.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has proposed raising the retirement age for a full pension from 62 to 64, saying the move is necessary to keep the system solvent.

Unions oppose the change and have suggested a tax on the super wealthy as an alternative course.

Train service and some flights were canceled Thursday. Seventy percent of preschool and primary school teachers said they planned to not work, while electricity workers said they would reduce supplies in protest of the proposed changes.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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Bloomberg: у Сінгапурі змішують російську нафту для реекспорту

У Сінгапурі швидко зростає попит на резервуари для зберігання нафти

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Швеція надішле Україні бойові машини піхоти

Згідно із заявою, нова військова допомога, в якій також будуть артилерійські системи Archer, становитиме 4,3 мільярда шведських крон

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У Казахстані вигнали з партії депутата, який підтримав РФ у війні проти України

Голова партії «Ак жол» сказав, що висловлювання Азамата Абільдаєва «суперечать позиції партії, а також порушують партійну та депутатську етику»

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«В Європі вирує війна». Новий міністр оборони Німеччини пообіцяв посилити армію

«Наше завдання – зробити Бундесвер сильним зараз, це стримування, ефективність і готовність. І це продовження підтримки України, в тому числі технікою Бундесверу»

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Виписав собі премію на 10 млн дол: ексголові «Нафтогазу» інкримінують зловживання службовим становищем

У Спеціалізованій антикорупційній прокуратурі заявили про оголошення підозри колишньому голові правління НАК «Нафтогаз України» у справі про зловживання службовим становищем. Пресслужба САП не вказує імені посадовця, але оскільки повідомляє про події 2018 року, то це означає, що йдеться про Андрія Коболєва – саме він був на чолі «Нафтогазу України» у цей період.

«У 2018 році голова правління, зловживаючи своїм службовим становищем, ініціював розгляд Наглядовою радою компанії питання про погодження виплати премії за досягнення вагомих цілей, реалізацію важливих, стратегічних проектів працівникам НАК «Нафтогаз України», включаючи членів правління. Пізніше посадовець підготував зміни та доповнення до подання щодо виплати премії за екстраординарні досягнення, визначивши собі розмір премії у розмірі 10 млн доларів США», – йдеться у повідомленні.

У САП розповіли, що протягом 2018 року голові правління «Нафтогазу України» було незаконно нараховано та виплачено премій на суму, що перевищує максимально допустиму на 229 250 410 грн.

«Протягом 2018-2021 років службові особи НАК «Нафтогаз України» не сприяли розслідуванню, ховаючи від слідства документи та матеріали компанії, необхідні для встановлення обставин вчинення злочину. Санкція статті передбачає покарання у виді позбавлення волі на строк від семи до дванадцяти років з позбавленням права обіймати певні посади чи займатися певною діяльністю на строк до трьох років та з конфіскацією майна», – зазначили у САП.

Сам Коболєв наразі не коментував ці повідомлення.

Уряд звільнив Андрія Коболєва з посади голови правління НАК «Нафтогаз України» у квітні 2021 року. Торік були повідомлення про обшуки у нього вдома. За попередніми даними, йшлося про справу щодо виведення значних обсягів газу з державної власності.

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WSJ: вбитий у березні Денис Кірєєв за день до вторгнення повідомив ГУР про план наступу РФ на Київ

«Якби не Кірєєв, швидше за все, Київ був би взятий», – сказав голова ГУР виданню

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Turkey Places Enes Freedom on Terrorist Wanted List

Turkey has placed basketball player Enes Freedom on its terrorist wanted list. 

Freedom appears on what the Turkish Interior Ministry calls the “Grey List,” the lowest of its five-tier color-coded system, which offers a reward of up to about $26,600 (500,000 Turkish lira). 

It is not clear when Turkey added Freedom to the list, but he told Fox News on Tuesday that he learned about it while he was at the Vatican for a basketball camp, and that after contacting the FBI, he was told he should return to the United States. 

“This is the first time actually the Turkish government put a bounty on my head and put me on the most wanted terrorist list, just because I talk about some of the human rights violations and political prisoners happening in Turkey,” Freedom told Fox News. “And you know, I’m not the only one. There are so many journalists, academics, professors and celebrities are on that list.” 

Freedom has been a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country’s human rights record, and he has called on the Biden administration and other Western and NATO leaders to take action. 

Turkey issued an arrest warrant for him in 2019, accusing him of being a member of a terrorist group for his ties to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey blamed Gulen for a failed 2016 coup, which Gulen denies. 

Freedom grew up in Turkey and changed his named from Enes Kanter after becoming a U.S. citizen in 2021. Turkey canceled his passport in 2017. 

He played 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association, most recently in 2022 with the Boston Celtics. 

In addition to speaking out against the Turkish government, Freedom has also criticized China’s human rights record, including its treatment of Tibet and the Uyghur people.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters. 

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У Білому домі відповіли на позицію влади Німеччини щодо постачання танків Україні

У західних ЗМІ із посиланням на владу Німеччини напередодні повідомили про те, що Німеччина не погоджуватиме надання своїх танків Україні, доки США не нададуть свої

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Позиція Шольца щодо надання Україні танків залежить від того, чи США нададуть свої – ЗМІ

Речник канцлера заявив 18 січня, що Берлін не змінив своєї позиції після рішення Великої Британії надіслати Україні танки Challenger 2

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Україна експортувала 2,3 мільйона тонн харчів за перші два тижні року – уряд

Від початку повномасштабної війни з України виїхало 41,3 мільйона тонн сільськогосподарської продукції

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Pentagon Looks to Give Ukraine Momentum in War, Without Tanks

The United States aims to break the dynamic of grinding warfare and near-frozen front lines in Ukraine with newly announced military capabilities it hopes will create momentum for Kyiv’s battle against Russian forces, a senior Pentagon official said on Wednesday.

But Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s top policy adviser, said the Pentagon still wasn’t prepared to meet Kyiv’s calls for gas-guzzling M1 Abrams main battle tanks.

“I just don’t think we’re there yet,” said Kahl, who had just returned from a trip to Ukraine. “The Abrams tank is a very complicated piece of equipment. It’s expensive. It’s hard to train on. It has a jet engine.”

Kahl’s remarks came ahead of this week’s gathering of top defense officials from dozens of countries at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany to coordinate military aid for Kyiv.

The U.S. has committed roughly $24 billion to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian forces, including a $3.5 billion package announced this month that includes Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, armored personnel carriers, surface-to-air missiles and ammunition.

U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said President Joe Biden’s administration is next expected to approve Stryker armored vehicles for Ukraine.

Pressure has been mounting on Germany to send its Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine, or at least approve their transfer from third countries.

But Germany appears to want to tie any such contribution to a U.S. decision on Abrams.

A German government source told Reuters that Germany would allow German-made tanks to be sent to Ukraine to help its defense against Russia if the United States agrees to send its own tanks.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is due to meet with Germany’s new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius in Berlin on Thursday.

Kahl noted Britain’s commitment to send 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, and, without confirming any German conditions on providing the Leopard, said: “I think if there is a concern about being alone in providing this capability, that shouldn’t be a concern.”

“But at the end of the day, you know, the German government is going to make a sovereign decision,” the U.S. defense official said.

Kahl also praised Germany’s contributions so far.

“I think we should give Germany an enormous amount of credit for their generosity toward Ukraine to date,” he told reporters at the Pentagon.

Front lines have hardened in Ukraine since Kyiv wrested back significant territory in the east and south in the second half of 2022. Kahl described brutal, World War I-style engagements, with advances measured in blocks.

“Really what we’re focused on is surging those capabilities to Ukraine for the next phase of the conflict to really try to change that dynamic and continue the momentum that the Ukrainians had in the late summer and early fall,” Kahl said, echoing comments in Washington on Tuesday by British foreign minister James Cleverly.

The U.S. provision of Bradley fighting vehicles, combined arms training, and other new weaponry for the Ukrainians is meant to enable Kyiv to change the dynamic of static defenses “by being able to fire and maneuver through the use of more mechanized forces,” Kahl said.

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Tech Layoffs Mount as Microsoft, Amazon Shed Staff

Software giant Microsoft on Wednesday became the latest major company in the tech sector to announce significant job cuts when it reported it would lay off 10,000 employees, or about 5% of its workforce.

Microsoft’s job cuts come just as e-commerce leader Amazon begins a fresh round of 18,000 layoffs, extending a wave of other major cuts at Twitter, Salesforce and dozens of smaller technology firms in recent weeks.

The phenomenon of job losses in the tech sector has global reach but has been keenly felt in Silicon Valley and other West Coast tech hubs in the United States. The website layoffs.fyi, which tracks job cuts in the tech industry, has identified well over 100 tech firms announcing layoffs since January 1 across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In all, the website has counted more than 1,200 firms making layoffs since the beginning of 2022.

Changing environment

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appeared to suggest that retrenchment in the tech sector was a result of reduced consumer demand.

“During the pandemic, there was rapid acceleration,” Nadella said. “I think we’re going to go through a phase today where there is some amount of normalization in demand.”

He said the company would seek to drive growth by increasing its own productivity. The interview took place before Microsoft officially announced the layoffs.

One major focus of the layoffs, according to multiple media reports, was the division of the company that makes augmented reality systems, including the company’s HoloLens goggles and the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, which until recently were being developed in cooperation with the U.S. Army.

Later in the day in an email to employees, Nadella wrote, “These are the kinds of hard choices we have made throughout our 47-year history to remain a consequential company in this industry that is unforgiving to anyone who doesn’t adapt to platform shifts.”

However, he signaled the company would continue hiring in areas such as artificial intelligence that management believes are strategically important.

Also on Wednesday, Doug Herrington, head of Amazon’s global retail business, said his company was restructuring to meet consumers’ demands but would continue to invest in areas where it saw the potential for growth, including its grocery delivery business.

Stronger, perhaps

Wayne Hochwarter, who teaches business administration at Florida State University, described the layoffs at Microsoft and Amazon as examples of businesses making adjustments to their workforces in the face of a changing business climate.

“I think they overestimated the trends in personal purchasing patterns, and they thought, ‘OK, we’re going to make sure we’re not shorthanded,’” he told VOA. “And then when things softened a little bit, they realized they had hired too many people.”

He also warned against reading too much into the latest layoffs.

“I don’t think the tech sector is going to heck in a handbasket,” he said. “They may have reevaluated where things are going to go, but I don’t see this as a catalyst for sending us into economic deterioration, or anything that’s going to put a crimp on the economy.”

Looking to the future, Hochwarter said, the workforce changes are “probably going to make them stronger companies.”

Weathering the storm

Margaret O’Mara, author of the book The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, told VOA that the current run of layoffs in the U.S. was just the latest chapter in a long cycle of booms and busts in the tech sector.

In some important respects, she said, it’s a story about more than just a misreading of trends in consumer preferences.

“It’s similar to other downturns, and there have been many — for every boom there was a bust — in that their macro[economic] conditions have shifted,” she said. “Tech is an industry that’s very much fueled by investment capital and the stock market.”

O’Mara said that over the last 10 years, with low interest rates and large amounts of cash flowing through the economy, conditions have been “extraordinary” for the growth of U.S. tech companies. As those conditions change, so does the amount of money investors want to put into tech firms.

However, O’Mara, a professor of American history at the University of Washington, said it was important not to look at conditions today as similar to the catastrophic dot-com bust of 2000.

“Tech is many orders of magnitude larger than it ever has been before,” she said. “We are talking about platform companies that are unlike the dot-coms, which were very young and very frothy, and it was easy for their value to collapse. They weren’t providing the essential services … fundamental to the rest of the economy.”

By contrast, she said, companies like Microsoft and Amazon have deep connections to the broader U.S. economy and should be able to withstand the current economic headwinds.

Difficult for H-1B visa holders

A disproportionate share of workers in the U.S. technology sector are non-citizens who hold H-1B visas, which allow companies to sponsor them. Layoffs are particularly difficult for visa holders — the overwhelming majority of whom are from India — because once their employment is terminated, they have just 60 days to find a new sponsor. Otherwise, they are required to leave the country.

Hochwarter said he thought companies would pull back on hiring H-1B visa workers, at least for the time being.

“My sense is that because that takes a great deal of effort and energy on the part of the employing organization, they’re probably going to start cutting down on those because they’re just not quite as needed,” he said.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh, speaking at Davos, bemoaned the state of U.S. immigration law, saying it denies the U.S. the workers it needs to drive economic growth.

“We need immigration reform in America. America has always been a country that has depended on immigration. The threat to the American economy long term is not inflation, it’s immigration,” he said. “It’s not having enough workers.”

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Activist Thunberg to Meet Energy Chief at Davos

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg is set to meet International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol in Davos on Thursday, organizers of a fringe round-table event at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting told Reuters.

Thunberg is to meet Birol along with fellow campaigners Helena Gualinga, Vanessa Nakate and Luisa Neubauer, the organizers said in a statement.

The IEA, which makes policy recommendations on global energy, had no immediate comment.

Thunberg was released by police on Tuesday after being detained alongside other climate activists during protests in Germany.

“Yesterday I was part of a group that peacefully protested the expansion of a coal mine in Germany. We were kettled by police and then detained but were let go later that evening,” she tweeted, adding: “Climate protection is not a crime.”

‘We are not winning’

Former United States Vice President Al Gore said in Davos that he agreed with Thunberg’s efforts in Germany and that the climate crisis was getting worse faster than the world was tackling it.

“We are not winning. The crisis is still getting worse faster than we are deploying these solutions,” Gore told a WEF panel, highlighting a growing gap between those “old enough to be in positions in power and the young people of this world.”

Thunberg, whose current whereabouts are not clear, attended the WEF meeting in Davos in January 2020, when she challenged world leaders, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, to act on climate change, saying that “our house is still on fire.”

She has also participated in previous protests on the fringes of the gathering, which brings business and political leaders together in the Swiss ski resort for a dialogue on topical issues.

Activists protest oil firms’ role

Climate change is one of the main items on the agenda for this year’s meeting, which has already seen protests against the role of big oil firms, with activists saying they are hijacking the debate over how to address global warming.

Representatives of major energy firms including BP, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum Corp., and Saudi Aramco are among 1,500 business leaders gathered there.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on the WEF attendees to make “credible,” accountable net-zero pledges.

A social media campaign this week added to pressure on oil and gas companies, promoting a “cease and desist” notice sponsored by Thunberg, Nakate, Neubauer and Gualinga through the non-profit website Avaaz.

The call, which has garnered more than 850,000 signatures, demands that energy company CEOs “immediately stop opening any new oil, gas, or coal extraction sites, and stop blocking the clean energy transition we all so urgently need.”

It threatens legal action and more protests if they fail to comply.

The oil and gas industry has said that it needs to be part of the energy transition as fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in the world’s energy mix as countries shift to low- economies.

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