World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Risks Report 2020’


On 15th January, the World Economic Forum released the ‘Global Risks Report 2020’ notes that for the first time in the report’s 10-year-history all of the top five issues that are likely to impact the world this year are environmental.

The “top five global risks in terms of likelihood” are —
extreme weather conditions,
climate action failure,
natural disasters,
biodiversity loss and human-made natural disasters.

In the previous decade, economic and financial crises were some of the most dangerous.

The report states that global temperatures are set to rise by 3°C toward the end of this century.

This is “twice what climate experts have warned is the limit to avoid the most severe economic, social and environmental consequences”.

Highlights of the report

Titled “Burning Planet: Climate Fires and Political Frame Wars Rage”, the report warns that geopolitical turbulence and the retreat from multilateralism threatens everyone’s ability to tackle shared, critical global risks.

The report forecasts a year of increased domestic and international divisions and economic slowdown. Geopolitical turbulence is propelling us towards an “unsettled” unilateral world of great power rivalries at a time when business and government leaders must focus urgently on working together to tackle shared risks.

Severe threats to climate account for all of the Global Risks Report’s top long-term risks, with “economic confrontations” and “domestic political polarisation” recognised as significant short-term risks in 2020.

Borge Brende, president of the WEF, said in a statement Wednesday: “The political landscape is polarised, sea levels are rising and climate fires are burning. This is the year when world leaders must work with all sectors of society to repair and reinvigorate our systems of cooperation, not just for short-term benefits but for tackling our deep-rooted risks.”

For this year’s report, more than 750 experts and decision-makers were asked to rank their biggest concerns in terms of likelihood and impact. And 78 per cent of the respondents (585 people) said “economic confrontations” and “domestic political polarisation” would rise in 2020.

Source: The Economic Times

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