It is that time again when the great, the good, the A-list and the rich and not so famous make their way to the Swiss town of Davos for the World Economic Forum.

The annual get-together, when most of the really interesting and significant conversations and deals take place behind firmly closed doors away from the media spotlight, is likely to have the environment at the top of its agenda. More specifically, the impact of climate change on business and the world economy is tipped to be the hot topic.

We’ve already seen some early manoeuvres – such as President George Bush being urged to make tackling climate change his priority for the remainder of hiss time in office by some of the US’s leading companies. However, the main talking points will begin tomorrow (January 24) and the official launch of WEF 2007.

Although dismissed by critics as a meaningless talking shop, with all the hot air emanating from the WEF more likely to melt the snow on the Swiss mountains around Davos than have any other impact, there is more to Davos than empty promises and political soundbites.

There is little doubt that, away from the stage-managed photo ops and press conferences, some influential people make some significant decisions at Davos (

The next few days may well dictate just how enthusiastically big business embraces the fight against climate change, for example, as well as further discussions and possible agreements on debt levels in developing countries.

It will also be worth keeping a close eye on the Kenyan capital Nairobi for the anti-capitalist summit, the World Social Forum (

Two conferences, two very different settings, two incredibly distinct sets of delegates and many common issues.

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