Environment threats top WEF risk ranking

27th January 2022


Climate action failure is the risk global leaders fear most over the next 10 years, followed by extreme weather and biodiversity loss.

That is according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report 2022, which draws on the expertise of nearly 1,000 academic, business, government, civil society and thought leaders.

Climate action failure was identified as having the highest potential to severely damage societies, economies and the planet. However, more than three-quarters of global leaders believe that international efforts to mitigate climate change are in “early development” or have “not started” yet.

Human environment damage and natural resource crises also feature in the top 10 risks for the next 10 years, as do social cohesion erosion, involuntary migration, adverse technological advances, debt crises and geopolitical confrontation. The erosion of social cohesion, livelihood crises and mental health deterioration were identified as the risks that had increased most since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only one in 10 leaders believe the global recovery will accelerate in the next three years.

Four areas of emerging risk identified include cybersecurity, competition in space, a disorderly climate transition, and migration pressures, with each requiring global co-ordination for successful management.

“The climate crisis remains the biggest long-term threat facing humanity,” said Peter Giger, group chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance Group, one of WEF’s strategic partners. “Failure to act on climate change could shrink global GDP by one-sixth and the commitments taken at COP26 are still not enough to achieve the 1.5°C goal.”

Read the full Global Risks Report 2022 at bit.ly/GlobalRisks_2022

Image credit | Shutterstock

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