Not surprisingly, environmental issues leaving most experts 'worried.' The annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) showed climate action failure, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss as top global risks the world is likely to face over the next 10 years. Infectious diseases, came in as the sixth risk under the societal risks umbrella.
The annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) showed climate action failure, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss as the top global risks the world is likely to face over the next 10 years. Infectious diseases came in as the sixth risk under the societal risks umbrella.
Not a pandemic, but climate change and other environmental issues are likely to pose long-term global risks in the future, revealed this year's World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report.
The annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) showed climate action failure, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss as top global risks the world is likely to face over the next 10 years.
Respondents to the GRPS ranked “climate action failure” as the number one long-term threat to the world. They said this is the risk with potentially the most severe impact over the next decade.
"Climate action failure is also considered the most critical threat to the world in both the medium term
Meanwhile, “extreme weather” and “climate action failure” were listed among the top five short-term risks to the world.
The insights from the report draws relevance as the globe already faces the brunt of climate change with several parts of the world experiencing extreme heatwaves, droughts, fires, floods, resource scarcity and species loss.
Top 10 risks world faces today and in next 10 years (Courtesy: World Economic Forum)
Infectious diseases — which were categorised under the umbrella category of 'societal risks' — ranked sixth on the chart showing the top 10 severe global risks over the next 10 years.
Societal risks, overall, made up a third of the global top 10, with societal cohesion erosion and livelihood crises featuring among the top five.
"'Social cohesion erosion', 'livelihood crises' and 'mental health deterioration' are three of the five risks that have deteriorated the most globally through the crisis," the GRPS revealed.
Looming debt crises
The GRPS showed “debt crises” as an imminent threat to the world for the next two years. However, the respondents believed that they will reach their most critical point in 3-5 years.
The report suggested that a "disorderly climate transition, characterised by divergent trajectories worldwide and across sectors, will further drive apart countries and bifurcate societies, creating barriers to cooperation."
The report said, "The risk horizon changes over the coming years, as the full implications of the pandemic become clearer."
It said that by 2024, developing economies — except China — will have fallen 5.5 percent below their pre-pandemic expected GDP growth, while advanced economies will have surpassed it by 0.9 percent.
Risk experts said in the next two years, they "see the erosion of social cohesion, the deterioration of mental health, infectious diseases and livelihood crises as being equal to environmental threats."
According to the report, all these factors are constant across the short to long term.
In the next five years, debt crises and geo-economic confrontations are likely to emerge as governments struggle to balance fiscal priorities.
This WEF survey was conducted among nearly 1,000 risk experts and global leaders in business, government and civil society.
When asked about their outlook towards the world order and global crisis, the majority of the respondents said they were "worried" or "concerned" over the situation.
Around 84.2 percent of the participants said they were “concerned” or “worried,” while less than 16 percent of the respondents said they have an “optimistic” or “positive” outlook.