Climate-change-related threats such as extreme weather, large-scale biodiversity losses and a failure of political leaders to slow planetary heating are now the top long-term risks facing the globe, business and other leaders said on Wednesday.
An annual risk survey published ahead of the World Economic Forum next week put climate threats ahead of risks ranging from cyberattacks and pandemics to geopolitical conflict and weapons of mass destruction for the first time.
“That’s new. Last year we didn’t have it,” said Mirek Dusek, deputy head of the Centre for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs and an executive committee member of the World Economic Forum, of the rise of environmental issues up the list.
The shift comes as climate-changing emissions continue to rise strongly globally, despite government and business commitments to reduce them, and as the potential impact of runaway climate change becomes clearer.