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Global Risks 2013 report launched

The world is more at risk as persistent economic weakness saps our ability to tackle environmental challenges, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2013 report.

The report highlights wealth gaps (severe income disparity) followed by unsustainable government debt (chronic fiscal imbalances) as the top two most prevalent risks, in a survey of over 1,000 experts and industry leaders.

Following a year scarred by extreme weather, from Hurricane Sandy to flooding in China, respondents rated rising greenhouse gas emissions as the third most likely global risk overall, while the failure of climate change adaptation is seen as the environmental risk with the most knock-on effects for the next decade.

“These global risks are essentially a health warning regarding our most critical systems,” warned Lee Howell, the editor of the report and managing director at the World Economic Forum. “National resilience to global risks needs to be a priority so that critical systems continue to function despite a major disturbance,” he added.

In a special report on national resilience, the groundwork is laid for a new country resilience rating, which would allow leaders to benchmark their progress. It is based on the notion that no nation alone can prevent exogenous, global risks occurring, which makes national resilience a crucial first line of defence.

The report as a whole describes 50 global risks and groups them into economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological categories, which respondents were asked to rate in terms of likelihood and impact. The data shows that younger respondents were more concerned by risks than older ones, while women were more pessimistic than men. On a regional basis, experts in North America tended to see risks as more likely than those in other regions.

Read the Global Risks 2013 report in full at http://www.weforum.org/globalrisks2013

•Date: 8th Jan 2013 • World •Type: Article • Topic: Enterprise risk management

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