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Climate Change the Biggest Threat to the Global Economy

January 15, 2016
Environmental Protection

According to a survey of 750 experts conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), climate change is now seen as the biggest risk to the global economy. The 11th global risks survey was prepared ahead of the WEF annual meeting in Davos later this month, in collaboration with specialist risk company Marsh and McLennan and the Zurich Insurance Group.

Cecilia Reyes, Zurich’s chief risk officer said; “Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks. Political conflicts are in turn making the challenge of climate change all the more insurmountable reducing the potential for political co-operation, as well as diverting resource, innovation and time away from climate change resilience and prevention.”

It’s the first time in 11 years that the environment has been placed at the top of the list. The news comes a month after world leaders pledged support for the Paris climate change agreement. 2015 was widely accepted as the warmest year since records began with the added effects of a strong El Nino leading to unseasonably high winter temperatures across many areas of the globe.

The top three risks in 2016 in terms of likelihood were judged to be large scale involuntary migration, followed by extreme weather events and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

You can view the Global Risks Report 2016 HERE