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Environmental worries dominate in new global risk survey

Managers, scholars and government officials around the world feel that the biggest threats they face are all connected to the environment, according to the latest annual Global Risks Report.

Managers, scholars and government officials around the world feel that the biggest threats they face are all connected to the environment, according to the latest annual Global Risks Report.

The World Economic Forum, which published the survey on Wednesday, said this was the first time that all of the top five risks for the decade ahead were climate and environmental issues.

In this year’s poll, extreme weather events with massive destruction emerged as the most likely risk, followed by failure to tackle climate change, human-made environmental damage, biodiversity loss, and natural disasters.

The report was published ahead of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland next week, where government and corporate leaders gather every year to discuss the challenges ahead.

“The political landscape is polarized, sea levels are rising and climate fires are burning,” said Borge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum.

“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 benefit but for tackling our deep-rooted risks,” the former Norwegian politician added.

Although the survey showed heightened global concern for climate issues for the medium-term, current trade tensions and domestic political crises around the world cause the biggest headaches in the short-term.

When asked what risks will increase this year, most of the respondents cited economic confrontations, followed by domestic political polarization, extreme heatwaves, ecosystem destruction and cyberattacks.

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