Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Risks Associated with Environment, Climate, Water Crisis and Extreme Weather in the WEF Report

In the 2015 edition of the Global Risks report environmental risks are viewed as more prominent than economic risks. At the very top of the list are international conflicts although water crises rank highest in terms of impact. Overall, geopolitical and societal risks dominate as the biggest threat to global stability.

The 10th edition of the Global Risks report, was published on January 15, 2015 by the WEF. The annual report features an assessment by nearly 900 experts on the top 28 global risks in terms of likelihood and potential impact over the coming 10 years.

Despite a preponderance of economic concerns, the report ranks more environmental issues among the top risks than economic ones. This is a consequence of the negative assessment attributed to existing preparations to cope with challenges such as extreme weather and climate change.

In terms of likelihood of a given risk, extreme weather events are exceeded only by interstate conflict followed by failure of national governance systems, state collapse or crisis, and high structural unemployment or underemployment.

In terms of impact, the water crises was deemed to be the greatest risk facing the world followed by the spread of infectious diseases, weapons of mass destruction and failure of climate change adaptation.

The report expresses concern over the world’s ability to solve its most pressing societal issues, including economic, environmental and geopolitical risks.

In addition to ranking risks, the report features three examples of risk management and resilience practices related to extreme weather events.

Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz, Lead Economist, World Economic Forum said, "seeking to return the world to a path of partnership, rather than competition, should be a priority for leaders as we enter 2015."

Click here to read the Global Risks 2015 Report.


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