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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - In the session rooms and halls, the World Economic Forum was quietly drawing to a close on Friday. Outside, in Davos, climate activist Greta Thunberg created ample noise with an outdoor demonstration demanding new policies to deal with climate change.
About 200 children and adults answered Thunberg's rallying cry to "strike" on Thursday.
This week, Thunberg gave a stirring address at the Forum, calling for the immediate halt to investment in fossil fuels. She was later criticised by US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin during his news conference with reporters.
When asked about Thunberg’s activism and her comments advocating divestment in fossil fuels, the US treasury secretary suggested that Thunberg shoukd learn economics before weighing in on such debates, while also insisting that US president Donald Trump cared deeply about a clean environment.
Mr Mnuchin also pointed out that Mr Trump recently endorsed the much touted Trillion Trees Project announced in Davos.
As for the Paris climate agreement Mr Trump pulled out of, Mnuchin stood his ground.
“The president thought it was an unfair agreement for the United States,” he said.
As Thunberg’s demonstration was under way on the final day of WEF, Mr Mnuchin was inside the Congress Center taking part in a ‘Global Economic Outlook’ panel discussion with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva.
“The oceans are rising and so are we,” Chanted the crowd in the streets of Davos.
Rupert Read, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, said he spoke with Thunberg just before the demonstration started.
“She’s not incredibly well but she thought it was very important to be here.”
As Mr Read spoke to The National, chants from demonstrators continued.
“We’ve got about 200 children perhaps chanting away, children from all over Europe and all over the world,” he said.
“The message is simple, we’re in an emergency, it’s time to take action."
Updated: January 24, 2020 05:15 PM
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