Monday, February 3, 2014

World Economic Forum Risk Report Singles Out Climate Change

The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2014 Global Risks report released prior to the 44th WEF meeting on January 22nd in Davos singled out climate change as a leading risk factor. A total of 31 global systemic risks were identified in the report and climate change emerged as one of the top 5. The climate change related issues of extreme weather and water crises were among the chief concerns.

To help reduce the risks the report calls for mitigation and adaptation. “Even as governments and corporations are called upon to speed up greenhouse gas reduction, it is clear that the race is on not only to mitigate climate change but also to adapt. Failure to adapt has the biggest effect on the most vulnerable, especially those in least developed countries."

“Each risk considered in this report holds the potential for failure on a global scale; however, it is their interconnected nature that makes their negative implications so pronounced as together they can have an augmented effect,” said Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist at the World Economic Forum. “It is vitally important that stakeholders work together to address and adapt to the presence of global risks in our world today.”

"Climate change is the key driver of uncertain and changing weather patterns, causing an increased frequency of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.” The report also investigates the combined implications of these environmental risks on key development and security issues, such as food security and political and social instability, ranked 8th and 10th respectively.

To help address these concerns the report advocates the following:
  • Long-term thinking 
  • Collaborative multistakeholder action is required from businesses, governments, and civil society 
  • Global governance

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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