World Economic Forum yet again warns that climate change is greatest threat to world economy

Cover photo by WEF: Which global risks are most connected to the trend ‘changing climate’?

Contributor Elisa Jiménez Alonso

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released its 2018 Global Risk Report and, once again, climate change has gained a prominent position in the risk ranking. Extreme weather events and natural disasters are the first two top-rated risk in terms of likelihood, and second and third in terms of impact. Failure to adapt to and mitigate climate change are in fifth place for likelihood and fourth place for impact. Water crises are the fifth-ranked risk in terms of impact. That means that climate-related risks make up the majority of the highest ranked risks in the report.

Risk evolution table 2018. WEF.

The report links the failure to adapt to and mitigate climate change to other risks such as extreme weather events, large-scale involuntary migration, water crises, food crises, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, and failure of regional or global governance. It is thus indirectly linked to profound social instability, as can be seen below. What becomes clear once more is that climate change is a risk multiplier and can have significant ripple effects across a number of global issues.

The Global Risks Interconnections Map 2018

At the annual meeting of the WEF in Davos, prominent speakers took to the stage to emphasise how important it is to consider climate risks, physical and transitional. Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, a $19 billion conglomerate, told the WEF “climate change is the next century’s biggest financial and business opportunity.” He spoke about how every measure the group has taken to reduce their greenhouse emissions has resulted in a positive return.

Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock, highlighted the importance of the private sector when he said “People are beginning to realise this problem is too big for governments alone to deal with…. Essentially corporations have to become part of this solution.”


Read the full report on the WEF website:

This article first appeared on the Acclimatise website, and has been republished here with permission. To read it in its natural habitat please click here.

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