Climate activists target big oil firms in Davos protests

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Big oil firms came under pressure at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) from activists who accused them of hijacking the climate debate, while a Greta Thunberg-sponsored “cease and desist” campaign gained support on social media.

Major energy firms including BP, Chevron and Saudi Aramco are among the 1,500 business leaders gathering for the annual meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos, where global threats, including climate change, are on the agenda.

“We are demanding concrete and real climate action,” said Nicolas Siegrist, a 26-year-old organiser of the protest who also heads the Young Socialists party in Switzerland.

The annual meeting of global business and political leaders opened in Davos on Monday.

“They will be in the same room with state leaders and they will push for their interests,” Siegrist said of the in-volvement of energy companies during a demonstration attended by several hundred people on Sunday.

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 carbon economies.

On Monday, a social media campaign added to the pressure on oil and gas companies, by promoting a “cease and desist” notice sponsored by climate activists Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and Luisa Neubauer, through the non-profit website Avaaz.—AFP