These are the biggest risks facing our world in 2019

risks 2019

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Joe Myers, Formative Content & Kate Whiting, Senior Writer, Formative Content


What keeps you up at night?

For leaders surveyed for the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, environmental threats dominate the list for the third year in row – both in terms of impact and likelihood.

“Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” the report warns.

What are the biggest risks?

The report offers a unique perspective on the threats facing our world, by looking at not only those risks that are most likely, but also those that would have the biggest impact.

Image: World Economic Forum

Although the lists are distinct, there are some common themes that connect the two. As the tables above (most likely risks) and below (those with the greatest impact) show, environmental concerns accounted for three of the top five risks by likelihood and four by impact.

After 2018 saw unprecedented heatwaves, storms and floods across the globe, extreme weather events top the list of most likely risks and come third for impact.

Our inadequate response to deal with the threats posed by climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – ‘Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation’ – is in second place on both lists, reflecting respondents’ increasing concerns about environmental policy failure.

The report says: “The results of climate inaction are becoming increasingly clear. The accelerating pace of biodiversity loss is a particular concern.”

A World Wildlife Fund report from last year highlighted the extent of the challenge we face – with loses in vertebrate species averaging 60% between 1970 and 2014.

Risks posed by our increased reliance on technology, as well as risks to the global economy, and societal and geopolitical risks are also big concerns in terms of likelihood and impact.

Image: World Economic Forum

Cyber-attacks feature in both top 10s, at number five for likelihood and seven for impact, while data fraud is at number four for likelihood, reflecting an overall trend as technology shapes the risk landscape.

Last year saw numerous data breaches, with millions – if not billions – of people’s data affected, as well as continued cyber-attacks on both public and private institutions and businesses.

The vast majority of respondents (82%) expected the risk of cyber-attacks leading to theft of money and data to increase in 2019, with 80% believing they would disrupt operations. The survey says this “reflects how new instabilities are being caused by the deepening integration of digital technologies into every aspect of life”.

In terms of Societal Risk, water crises, defined as “a significant decline in the available quality and quantity of fresh water, resulting in harmful effects on human health and/or economic activity” are a concern that features on both lists – at number four for impact and nine for likelihood.

The report warns of the macroeconomic risks we face as we head into 2019.

The majority of respondents expect increasing risks this year, related to “economic confrontations between major powers” (91%) and “erosion of multilateral trading rules and agreements” (88%).

Financial market volatility and slowing global growth through 2018 are highlighted by the authors – and indeed by the latest International Monetary Fund forecasts.

As a result, the risk of an asset bubble in a major economy is 10th most likely.

How are they connected?

These risks don’t exist in isolation, though. They’re interconnected and each has the potential to affect the others – as the following chart from the report explores.

Consider for example biodiversity loss in the human food chain. This affects health and socioeconomic development, with implications for areas from productivity to regional security.

Image: World Economic Forum

What’s the methodology?

The report’s findings are based on the annual Global Risks Perception Survey, which asks the Forum’s network of business, government, civil society and thought leaders to gauge the risks facing our world.

The survey has four parts, which are outlined as follows:

1. The world in 2019. Respondents were asked whether the risks associated with 42 issues would increase or decrease this year relative to last year.

2. The global risks’ landscape. For 30 global risks, respondents were asked about their likelihood in the next 10 years and its potential impact.

3. Interconnections between pairs of global risks. Respondents were asked to select three to six of the most strongly interconnected global risks.

4. Connections between risks and underlying trends. Respondents had to first identify up to three trends that will shape the global agenda in the next decade. They then had to pick three risks that are most strongly driven by these trends.

These answers then inform the Global Risks Landscape, Interconnections Map and Trends map.

The Global Risks Report 2019 is released ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. As well as identifying potential dangers facing the world in the coming year, the report urges governments and organizations to address the impact of specific threats and make preparations to contain potential fallout should they occur.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

93 million children with disabilities ‘among the most likely to be left behind’: UN rights chief

Accelerating a more sustainable industrial revolution with digital manufacturing

Trust links up supply chains. How do you establish it in the digital era?

We need to talk about failure in the social sector

Israel is joining forces with Arab states to save coral from climate change destruction

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

The next EU President will first have to drink his tea at Downing Street

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: the final sprint of the Final Agreement Negotiations

Ambassador Zhang Ming: “Work Together for a Better Globalization”

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

What does global health translate into?

UN calls for support to implement Central Africa’s newly minted peace agreement

The global suicide rate is growing – what can we do?

‘Continuing absence’ of political solution to Israel-Palestine conflict ‘undermines and compounds’ UN efforts to end wholesale crisis

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Can we balance conservation and development? Science says yes

The IMF overstates the risks for Eurozone and downgrades the threats for the US economy

Mechanism to protect democracy in the EU needed more than ever, says the EP

Main results of Environment Council of 09 October 2018

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

Monsoon rains turn millions of children’s lives ‘upside down’ across South Asia

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

Access to health in the developped and developing world

Brexit: Britain and the Continent fighting the battle of Waterloo again

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

Towards seamless patent registration and protection in 25 EU countries

This new form of currency could transform the way we see money

EU-China relations under investigation?

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

Scale of displacement across Myanmar ‘very difficult to gauge’, says UN refugee agency

Why Microsoft is a regular to Almunia’s

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

Britain in chaos: May stays as Tory leader and PM but none can defuse the Brexit time bomb

“We need to accelerate our negotiation on the China-EU Investment Treaty”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highlights from the 21st EU-China summit in Brussels

Pumping more money into banks but leaving them unregulated doesn’t help

Schools in Florida now have to teach mental and emotional health

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

After music and TV, where will the streaming revolution take us next?

UK Labour Party leader Corbyn readies to change Brexit political backdrop

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

The glimmers of hope in the latest dire climate report

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Large parts of the world are growing more fragile. Here are 5 steps to reverse course

These are the world’s most positive countries

This Japanese company pays its employees to get a good night’s sleep

COP24: Huge untapped potential in greener construction, says UN environment agency

Sweden is a top performer on well-being. Here’s why

Could play be a game-changer for the world’s forests?

UN affirms ‘historic’ global compact to support world’s refugees

Eurozone banks are unable to support real economy’s dawning growth

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s