With the recent torrential flood that wreaked havoc in many parts of the Peninsula Malaysia in December 2021, the climate crisis hit all walks of life. But the adverse effects on the poor is even much unendurable. Hence, it is no surprise to most as climate risks dominate global concerns as the world enters the third year of pandemic.
According to the Global Risks Report 2022, now in its 17th edition, the top long-term risks relate to climate, while the top shorter-term global concerns include societal divides, livelihood crises and mental health deterioration.
Additionally, most experts believe a global economic recovery will be volatile and uneven over the next three years: only 1 in 6 are optimistic and only 1 in 10 believe the global recovery will accelerate.
The report urges leaders to resolve these systemic issues, global leaders must adopt a coordinated multistakeholder response, even as room for cooperation narrows.
“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 multistakeholder approach to tackle unrelenting global challenges and build resilience ahead of the next crisis,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.
“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 degree Celsius 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,” Peter Giger, Group Chief Risk Officer of Zurich Insurance Group said.
The report explores four areas of emerging risk: cybersecurity; competition in space; a disorderly climate transition; and migration pressures, each requiring global coordination for successful management.
“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 are 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,” said Carolina Klint, Risk Management Leader of Marsh.
The report closes with reflections on year two of the COVID-19 pandemic, yielding fresh insights on national-level resilience.
The Global Risks Report 2022 has been developed with the invaluable support of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Advisory Board. It also benefits from ongoing collaboration with its Strategic Partners, Marsh McLennan, SK Group and Zurich Insurance Group, and its academic advisers at the Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford), the National University of Singapore and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center (University of Pennsylvania).