WEF Identifies Climate Change as Risk with Greatest Potential
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A failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation is the risk with the greatest potential to impact society, finds the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Risks Report 2016.

This report is one of several publications released in advance of WEF's Annual Meeting.

Reports address risk, gender gaps and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among other topics.

World Economic Forum14 January 2015: A failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation is the risk with the greatest potential to impact society, finds the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report 2016. This report is one of several publications released in advance of the WEF’s Annual Meeting. Reports address risk, gender gaps and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among other topics.

‘The Global Risks Report 2016’ examines economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological risks and the interconnections among them, over the short-term and long-term. 2016 marks the first year that an environmental risk has topped the WEF’s ranking. It is also the first time that four out of the five categories are among the top five most impactful risks, with every category but technology featured. The report also provides country-level data on how businesses perceive risks in their countries, with unemployment and under-employment featuring as one of the global risks of highest concern. The report calls for a ‘resilience imperative’ to identify avenues and opportunities to mitigate, adapt to and build resilience against global risks and threats through collaboration.

The report also considers three areas where global risks have the potential to impact society: the impact of climate change on food security; the potential of pandemics to threaten social cohesion; and the disempowered citizen. The section on climate change and risks to food security examines how changing climate and weather patterns could affect agricultural production and food security in different regions. It suggests ways resilient crops and supply chain networks can play a role in mitigating the environmental, economic and social aspects of climate-change induced food security risks. The report identifies agriculture adaptation as a priority but cautions that there are limits to what adaptation can achieve and uncertainty about where and when these limits will be reached.

Additional WEF 2016 reports address technology areas and pathways to scale up renewable energy development and deployment, urban innovations, the future of jobs, alternative investments, and business finance. [WEF Report Website] [The Global Risk Report 2016] [The Global Gender Gap Report] [WEF Article on SDG Publication] [WEF Press Release]

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