The head of the world’s energy watchdog has told Sky News that climate change is eclipsing the international agenda, raising the risk that governments will slow down their pace of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. .

Speaking at the World Economic Forum DavosFatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said the mood in the Swiss resort seemed to lack the urgency needed to keep global warming to 1.5C.

The organization he leads works with countries around the world to shape energy policies for a secure and sustainable future.

But Mr Birol said: “I have a feeling that climate change and its urgency is killing the agenda.

“The energy crisis is very important – it is very important.

“The food crisis is very important.

“But the climate crisis is also very important.

“I’m not seeing the commitment and engagement from people that I’ve seen in the last few years… It’s not something we can forget and it’s a real problem.”

Climate activists Sweden's Greta Thunberg, Uganda's Vanessa Nyket, Ecuador's Helena Golinga and Germany's Luisa Neubauer, from right, with notices to fossil fuel CEOs, with International Energy Agency chief Fateh Birol, left. , standing together.  Press conference on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is underway in Davos from January 16 to January 20, 2023.  (AP Photo/Marcus Schreiber)
Victor Birol meets climate activists in Davos. Photo: AP

The comments came as climate protesters, including Greta Thunbergmarched in Davos, urging investors gathered here not to invest too much in new fossil fuel projects.

Most of the WEF participants had already left the summit by Friday’s march, but Ms. Thunberg and others met yesterday with Mr. Birol, whose organization has said that if the world reaches net zero greenhouse gas emissions If so, he should avoid anything. New oil and gas exploration projects

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Greta Thunberg accuses Davos elite of putting ‘corporate greed’ above people and planet

The government is on track to miss two-thirds of its environmental targets.

The forum’s annual winter meetings – the first since 2020 – have been dominated by debate over the global economy and Ukraine.

Although discussions about climate remained prominent, they were less prominent than at the last meeting.

‘It’s either now or never’

European Parliament President Roberta Metsula argued that it was now up to her fellow politicians to rise to the challenge.

He told Sky News: “We are the last generation of politicians who can solve this.

“The previous ones didn’t. It’s now or never. Our voters want it from us. Our younger generations want it from us. We can’t leave it up to them if we don’t decide.”

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Greta Thunberg speaks out after detention

The four-day conference concluded on Friday.

Although it was less attended than in previous years, it nevertheless attracted political leaders from around the world.

A notable exception was the United Kingdom, which for the first time in nearly two decades sent neither its prime minister nor its chancellor.

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