January 23, 2020 / 6:36 PM / 24 days ago

Greta, Merkel, big oil and a tax truce - Davos Thursday highlights

(Reuters) - Here are the highlights from Day 3 of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort of Davos:

FILE PHOTO: Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg attends a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

‘GET A DEGREE’ GRETA

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Greta Thunberg she should study economics, a jibe which prompted the climate activist to say she didn’t need a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets.

BIG OIL’S DILEMMA

Oil majors are at the sharp end of the climate debate, facing a balancing act to secure their futures.

GREEN SHOOTS?

There are signs U.S. President Donald Trump is starting to engage more seriously on climate change and listening to the concerns of corporations, the European Commission’s vice-president and head of its ‘Green Deal’ said.

MERKEL ON 5G

Diversification is crucial to ensuring a country’s security in the rollout of 5G mobile technology and shunning one supplier altogether risks being counterproductive, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. Merkel’s government has been wrangling for weeks over how strict security requirements for Germany’s 5G rollout should be, and whether they should effectively shut out Chinese technology giant Huawei.

TALIBAN HELP

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said that Pakistan continued to give sanctuary to an insurgent group that helps the Taliban in its war against Kabul and the U.S., contradicting a statement by Pakistan’s prime minister.

TAX TRUCE

France and the United States agreed how to press ahead with a global rewrite of cross-border tax rules for the digital era, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

OVERHEARD AT DAVOS

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: “The planet will not be destroyed. In the next few centuries and millennia, we’ll see the planet around the sun. What will be destroyed is our capacity to live on the planet. We will be destroyed by climate change, not the planet.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, when asked about China’s decision to ban foreign PCs and software from government offices within three years, said: “If we consciously decouple (the world), whether it’s the internet, or trading spheres, what have you, all we would do is increase the overall transnational cost of our economy and everybody will be worse off.”

Compiled by Greg Roumeliotis in Davos, Switzerland; Editing by Alexander Smith

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