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Climate failure, social crisis top global risks in 2022, says WEF

Climate risks will dominate global concerns as the world enters the third year of the pandemic, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report 2022.

The report, released yesterday, said while the top long-term risks relate to climate, the top shorter-term global concerns include societal divides, livelihood crises and mental health deterioration.

Besides, experts believe a global economic recovery will be volatile and uneven over the next three years.

Now in its 17th edition, the Global Risks report encourages leaders to think outside the quarterly reporting cycle and create policies that manage risks and shape the agenda for the coming years.

It explores four areas of emerging risk: cybersecurity; competition in space; a disorderly climate transition; and migration pressures, each requiring global coordination for successful management.

Commenting, Managing Director, WEF, Saadia Zahidi, said: “Health and economic disruptions are compounding social cleavages. This is creating tensions at a time when collaboration within societies and among the international community will be fundamental to ensure a more even and rapid global recovery.

“Global leaders must come together and adopt a coordinated multi-stakeholder approach to tackle unrelenting global challenges and build resilience ahead of the next crisis.”

The climate crisis remains the biggest long-term threat facing humanity. Failure to act on climate change could shrink global GDP by one-sixth and the commitments taken at COP26 are still not enough to achieve the 1.5 C goal.

Risk Management Leader, Continental Europe, Marsh, Carolina Klint, said: “As companies recover from the pandemic, they are rightly sharpening their focus on organizational resilience and ESG credentials. With cyber threats now growing faster than our ability to eradicate them permanently, it is clear that neither resilience nor governance is possible without credible and sophisticated cyber risk management plans.

“Similarly, organizations need to start understanding their space risks, particularly the risk to satellites on which we have become increasingly reliant, given the rise in geopolitical ambitions and tensions.”

On his part, Peter Giger, Group Chief Risk Officer, Zurich Insurance Group, said: “The climate crisis remains the biggest long-term threat facing humanity. Failure to act on climate change could shrink global GDP by one-sixth and the commitments taken at COP26 are still not enough to achieve the 1.5 C goal.

“It is not too late for governments and businesses to act on the risks they face and to drive an innovative, determined and inclusive transition that protects economies and people.”

The report closes with reflections on year two of the COVID-19 pandemic, yielding fresh insights on national-level resilience.

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