Updated Jan 24, 2018

The Davos view: action on climate and renewables despite Trump

Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cited climate change as the top issue the world must collaborate on, and BP CEO Bob Dudley said he was enthusiastic about solar energy.

Why it matters: Each of their comments, made on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, underscores a prevailing global sentiment: Most other world leaders and the world’s biggest energy companies are moving forward on renewable energy and addressing climate change regardless of President Trump, whose policies are moving America in reverse on these issues.

Gritty details:

  • “Glaciers are receding, ice caps are melting in the Arctic, many islands are sinking,” Modi said in his address. “There can be floods, or there can be drought, we are seeing the impact of extreme weather conditions.” He went on to say that countries have not worked together on living up to their pledges to the Paris climate deal, which Trump has said America will withdraw from. “We should all have come out of our limited narrow confines and we should have demonstrated solidarity,” Modi said.
  • Dudley said in an interview with Bloomberg that he’s “enthusiastic” about developing solar projects. He also said the Trump administration’s decision earlier this week to impose tariffs on solar imports is “not going to change our direction.”

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What’s next: Expect similar messages today, with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on tap to speak. Both world leaders attended the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany, last year, to stress the importance of acting on the issue, despite Trump.

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In photos: Trump visits Taj Mahal after massive rally in India

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the Taj Mahal. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump visited India's Taj Mahal on Monday, hours after telling a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad that he hopes to reach a trade deal with his "true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country.

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties as India’s location, size and economic growth make it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers.

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It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

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