Dominic Waughray, head of environmental initiatives for the WEF, said: “We are getting huge demand from our members to place climate change and issues of environmental security at the very heart of the programme of the World Economic Forum.
“Global warming and bird-flu are a greater threat to most of us than terrorism” Shafiq, Dhaka, Bangladesh
“The forum has already been instrumental in getting business voices heard at the very centre of global decision-making on climate change, but the programme at this year’s annual meeting shows just how crucial business leaders believe these issues are and just how serious they are in finding real solutions in partnership with governments and leading NGOs.”
A survey of participants by Gallup International, the pollster, found that twice the number of attendees from last year thought that environmental protection should be a priority for world leaders.
In total there will be 17 sessions focusing on climate change.
Some will aim to help companies and governments navigate the legalities of implementing policy changes aimed at curbing emissions and pollution.
Others will explain how to make going green profitable.
Among the people scheduled to talk about the issue include John McCain, the US senator and likely Republican presidential candidate.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Tony Blair, the UK prime minister, are both scheduled to deliver speeches on the issue.
The Middle East, in particular the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the situation in Iraq, will be another major issue at the event.
Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, are among those attending the event, while Jordanian King Abdullah II will speak about the future of the Middle East.
Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, will talk about how his country is emerging from last summer’s fighting between Israel and Hezbollah.
Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Tariq al Hashimi, Iraqi vice presidents, and Barham Saleh, the country’s deputy prime minister, are scheduled to talk about the challenges facing Iraq.