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From Guterres to warning Ghosn: Top quotes at Davos

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(From L to R) Moderator Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, Moderator, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, Germany Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, former US State secretary John Kerry, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz and University of Singapore Senior Adviser Kishore Mahbubani attend a session during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, on January 24, 2019 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Here are some of the top quotes from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Thursday, where the business elite faced yet more accusations of inaction on climate change.

“Climate change is running faster than we are. I believe we are losing the race.” — UN chief Antonio Guterres sounds the alarm on global warming at a Davos forum where the business elite faced criticisms of doing too little against the planetary crisis.

“I can tell you that we will be extremely vigilant.” — French Finance Minister Bruno LeMaire says his government, as a key shareholder in carmaker Renault, will take a very close look at severance pay for Carlos Ghosn, the jailed auto tycoon who has resigned in disgrace.

“What a great headline: Kerry replaces Pompeo.” — Former US secretary of state John Kerry draws a big laugh after a panel moderator thanks him for replacing the current office holder, the right-wing Mike Pompeo, at the last minute due to the government shutdown in Washington.

“When institutions like the World Economic Forum fail to stand up and speak out, they become complicit.” — Amnesty International chief Kumi Naidoo sends a harsh message to Davos for allowing a large Saudi presence without devoting time to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“So after a period of chaos we would perhaps end up where we are now with a very similar deal.” — Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar says a no deal Brexit is not only dangerous, but will just bring everyone back to where they started.

“It is possible.” — OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said he hopes to lay the foundations for an international tax on digital giants such as Google and Facebook that could come into force in 2020.


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