Climate risks, data theft top fears for Davos

18 Janvier, 2019, 17:56 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • President Ramaphosa meets the Eskom Sustainability Task Team at his official residence in Pretoria on 15 January

The organizers of the forum said worldwide tensions and nationalist politics could further weigh on the global economy this year and hinder efforts to deal with big issues such as climate change.

The annual Global Risks Report, which incorporates the survey, highlighted several top risks for 2019 including massive incidents of data fraud and theft and large scale cyberattacks.

He said: "We simply do not have the gunpowder to deal with the kind of slowdown that current dynamics might lead us towards".

An inability to mitigate or adapt to climate change came in at second on the list of the most likely risks facing the world in 2019.

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At an individual level, declining psychological and emotional well-being is both a cause and outcome within the wider global risks landscape, impacting, for example, social cohesion and political cooperation.

And the risk that failure by governments to limit the magnitude of climate change and adapt to it has risen to second place in terms of both likelihood and impact, compared to only fifth place and fourth place in those categories past year in the survey.

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The report said rapidly growing coastal cities, particularly in Asia, are making people more vulnerable to climate change.

Extreme weather events are considered the number one global risk in 2019, according to the World Economic Forum. The science is clear: "we need to see urgent and unprecedented action now". By 2040, the investment gap in global infrastructure is forecast to reach US$18 trillion against a projected requirement of US$97 trillion.

Environmental risks continue to dominate respondents' concerns beyond the short term, including biodiversity loss, extreme weather events, failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation, man-made disasters and natural disasters, according to the report. "Against this backdrop, we strongly recommend that businesses develop a climate resilience adaptation strategy and act on it now", Martin said.

Jobs and long-term investments in Britain are at risk until some way out is found from the impasse, said John Drzik, president of global risk and digital at U.S. professional services company Marsh. "Allocating resources to infrastructure investment, in part through new incentives for public-private partnerships, is vital for building and strengthening the physical foundations and digital networks that will enable societies to grow and thrive".

Fully 90 per cent of the respondents expected "further economic confrontation between major powers in 2019", although the survey was conducted before Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed last month to try to negotiate a peace pact on their tariffs war.

The risk report will give them all food for thought in the Alpine resort.

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