Environment More Risky Than Economy: World Economic Forum

Water crises would be the most impactful global risk

Water crises would be the most impactful global risk of 2015, predicts the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks report, while international conflict is the most likely. More than 900 experts rated 28 risks as part of the Global Risk Perception Survey.

The other most likely risks include extreme weather events, governmental failure, state collapse and unemployment. Rounding off the most influential risks are infectious disease, weapons of mass destruction, international conflict and failure of climate change adaptation.

Experts placing environmental risks above economic ones are due to increased fears about extreme weather and climate change and not reduced fears about the economy, the report says.

The report also analyzes connections between risks and three resulting scenarios: the interplay between geopolitics and economics, risks of rapid urbanization, and risks of emerging technologies.

The report discusses how the world can best transition between primarily rural to primarily urban living, as well as appropriate regulations for rapid innovation.

The report also includes data on how businesses perceive global risk in their own countries, and offers three examples of risk management related to extreme weather events.

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