Top five global risks according to the Global Risks Report in terms of likelihood
- Extreme weather events that cause major damage to infrastructure, property and loss of human life;
- Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation by governments and businesses;
- Human-made environmental damage and disasters, including environmental crime, such as oil spills, and radioactive contamination;
- Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse with irreversible consequences for the environment, resulting in severely depleted resources for humankind as well as industries;
- Major natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and geomagnetic storms.
The biggest short-term concerns are ‘economic confrontations’ and ‘domestic political polarization’. Both slowing down the global collaboration on tackling the 5 shared environmental risks. In addition, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board – an independent body that assesses how ready we are for a worldwide emergency – released their first report in the Autumn of 2019 resulting in a snapshot of where the world stood in its ability to prevent and contain a global health threat. Its conclusion? Not good: “For too long, we have allowed a cycle of panic and neglect when it comes to pandemics: we ramp up efforts when there is a serious threat, then quickly forget about them when the threat subsides. It is well past time to act”.