The World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest Global Risks Report identifies: climate-related issues among the top global risks the world will face over the next ten years, both in terms of likelihood and impact; extreme weather as the second most likely major risk; and the failure to adapt to climate change among the top five global risks in terms of impact.
15 January 2015: The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest Global Risks Report identifies: climate-related issues among the top global risks the world will face over the next ten years, both in terms of likelihood and impact; extreme weather as the second most likely major risk; and the failure to adapt to climate change among the top five global risks in terms of impact.
In the report’s tenth edition, interstate conflict with regional consequences tops the list as the number one global risk in terms of likelihood, with water crises ranking highest in terms of impact, and environmental risks gaining more prominence than economic ones due to a negative assessment of preparations to cope with such challenges as extreme weather and climate change.
The report, which assesses global risks in terms of likelihood and potential impact, also lists failure of national governance systems, State collapse or crisis, and high structural unemployment or underemployment as risks with high likelihoods over the next ten years. Approximately 900 experts participating in the Global Risk Perception Survey rated water crises as the greatest risk facing the world, with rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases, weapons of mass destruction and failure of climate change adaptation in the top five.
The report looked at 28 global risks grouped into five categories (economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological) and the drivers of those risks. The report examines the interconnections between risks and how they interact with trends shaping risk, and analyzes: the interaction between geopolitics and economics; risks related to rapid and unplanned urbanization in developing countries; and the governance of emerging technologies, including the need for oversight mechanisms.
Furthermore, the report focuses on global risks for which respondents feel their own region is least prepared, and the most progress has been made over the last ten years. For example, Sub-saharan Africa appears to be least prepared to address unemployment and underemployment, the Middle East and North Africa will be more challenged by water crises, and some areas in Asia will be least prepared to deal with interstate conflict and the failure of urban planning. The report also provides, for the first time, country-level data on how businesses perceive global risks in their countries.