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455. Global Risks Report 2022

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The Global Risks Report, released every January by the World Economic Forum (WEF), has been attracting attention for its ability to predict trends in global issues from the perspective of world leaders.

The Global Risk Report 2020, released two years ago when the new coronavirus was spreading from China to the rest of the world, listed environmental and climate change risk as one of the top five global risks that could occur in the next decade.

For 2021, infectious diseases ranked first as the risk with the greatest impact based on a year-long retrospective of pandemics, and listed other risks such as failure to address climate change (2nd), weapons of mass destruction (3rd), loss of biodiversity (4th), and natural resource crises (5th). On the other hand, along with infectious diseases (4th), the top ranking of possible future risks was dominated by environmental and climate change-related risks, such as extreme weather (1st), failure of climate change countermeasures (2nd), anthropogenic environmental destruction (3rd), and loss of biodiversity (5th).

This year's report was released on January 11, 2022.

According to a survey of global leaders, social and environmental risks have worsened since the start of the pandemic, with weakening of social cohesion and crisis of livelihoods ranking high on the list of concerns. Other risks include debt crisis, cyber security failure, digital divide, and backlash against science.

From a time perspective, the biggest concerns over the next two years are livelihood crises, social cohesion erosion and mental health deterioration. On the other hand, the health of the planet was also a major concern, with extreme weather and climate action failure topping the list of short-, medium- and long-term global risks. In the medium-term, the debt crises and the asset bubble burst emerged, while in the long term, adverse tech advances and geopolitical resource contestation also emerged.

In terms of severity, the risks related to the environment and climate change were the most feared to pose the most severe risks to humanity and the planet on a global scale over the next decade. The top 10 global risks are climate action failure (1st), extreme weather (2nd), biodiversity loss (3rd), social cohesion erosion (4th), livelihood crisis (5th), infectious diseases (6th), human environmental damage (7th), natural resource crises (8th), debt crisis (9th), and geoeconomic and geographic confrontation (10th).

The report also expressed concern that the uneven recovery trajectory among countries has led to a lack of alignment in policy priorities at a time when the international community must work together to contain COVID-19 and recover from the pandemic. It also warned that economic stagnation, inflation and debt problems in both developed and developing countries could lead to protectionism, and that post-pandemic economic stagnation could divide the world.


Reference

The World Economic Forum. The Global Risks Report 2022, 17th Edition. https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-risks-report-2022

 

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Director, Information Program)