Climate Change

Environmental crises pose biggest threats to global population over next decade: WEF Global Risks Report 2022

The pandemic has worsened several social and economic risks in the last two years, say experts

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 13 January 2022
Environmental crises pose biggest threats to global population over next decade: Global Risks Report 2022 Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Climate action failure, extreme weather events and biodiversity loss were perceived by experts as the biggest threats for the global population over the next decade, according to a new report. 

Environmental factors like human environmental damage and natural resource crisis were also believed to be among the top 10 risks in the period, the Global Risks Report 2022 stated. 

The annual report was based on a survey of 1,000 global experts and leaders in business, government and civil society on their perception of long-term risks to the world. Views of over 12,000 leaders from 124 countries who identified their national short-term risks were also analysed.  

Most experts (31.1 per cent) thought extreme weather events will be also the biggest threat over the next two years (short-term), said the report published by the World Economic Forum January 11, 2022. As many as 27.5 per cent of them said climate action failure will pose a major short-term risk.

The highest number of respondents thought climate action failure and extreme weather events will be the world’s biggest risks in the next five and 10 years as well, the report showed.  

The fallout of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been seen as a potent trigger to the existing threats in the two latest Global Risks Report.  

Since 2020, the pandemic has compounded the threats of social cohesion erosion, livelihood crises and climate action failure the most, the highest number of experts signalled. 

As many as 23 per cent respondents felt that mental health deterioration and extreme weather events were exacerbated by the pandemic that is in its third year now. 

Many of these threats that were perceived to have been worsened by the pandemic also amplify each other, the people surveyed said. 

“Vaccine inequality and a resultant uneven economic recovery risk compounding social fractures and geopolitical tensions,” the author of the report said. 

The global economic gap will widen by 2024, when the developing countries will have fallen 5.5 per cent below their pre-pandemic expected GDP growth and advanced economies would have surpassed the same by almost 0.9 per cent, they underlined. 

Digital inequality and cybersecurity failure also feature among the critical short- and medium-term threats, the analysis pointed out. 

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