Environmental Disasters Top Likeliest Risks in 2018

Environmental Disasters Top Likeliest Risks in 2018Environmental Disasters Top Likeliest Risks in 2018

Extreme weather events and natural disasters are the likeliest global risks to occur in 2018, according to experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum.

WEF's latest Global Risks Report of 2018, published on Wednesday, showed that environmental disasters, cybercrime, large-scale involuntary migration and illicit trade were among the most notable risks, in terms of likelihood, facing the world this year, CNBC reported.

The views of almost 1,000 global experts and decision-makers were surveyed on the most significant risks facing the world. The risks covered the diverse categories of economic, environmental, geopolitical, social and technological.

The experts were asked to prioritize 30 global risks in terms of likelihood and impact and, in fact, all five environmental risks—extreme weather; biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; major natural disasters; manmade environmental disasters; and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation—were ranked highly on both dimensions.

Following a year in which heatwaves, wildfires and hurricanes were commonplace, "extreme weather events" has been seen for the second year in a row as the single most prominent risk for 2018.

The top five global risks in 2018 in terms of likelihood include: extreme weather events, natural disasters, cyberattacks, data fraud or theft and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation.

The top five in terms of impact are as follows: weapons of mass destruction, extreme weather events, natural disasters, failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and water crises.

The World Economic Forum said the results suggested that "experts are preparing for another year of heightened risk" and that the trajectory of risks had increased.

However, as in 2017, the environment is by far the greatest concern raised by experts with economic risks featuring less prominently (there are none in the top five on either count of likelihood or impact) although inequality is ranked third in terms of underlying risk drivers.

Stating that the planet is "on the brink", WEF noted that environmental risks have grown in prominence over the 13-year history of the report.

"Among the most pressing environmental challenges facing us are extreme weather events and temperatures; accelerating biodiversity loss; pollution of air, soil and water; failures of climate-change mitigation and adaptation; and transition risks as we move to a low-carbon future," the report said.


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