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World Economic Forum released 15th Global Risk Report 2020 

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On January 15, 2020 the World Economic Forum(WEF) released the 15th edition of the “Global Risk Report 2020: An Unsettled World”.  This report is a part of WEF’s Global Risks initiative and presents about the major risk the world is expected to face in the future. It is also to be noted that the year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum, with the 2020 theme being “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”The report in detail are as follows:15th Global Risk Report 2020:
Climate accounts for Top5 crisis:
 As per the report for the 1st time in the survey’s 10 year outlook, severe threats to the climate account for the top 5 long term risks with extreme weather events, human-made environmental damage and disasters and major biodiversity loss and natural disasters from earthquakes to tsunamis.

  • The major impact of the risk was deemed to be a failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Climate risks:

i.Economic confrontations: Over 78 % of the 750 global experts expect rise in  “economic confrontations” and “domestic political polarization” in 2020.

ii.Climate change: 90% of the respondents to the Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) expect that “extreme heat”, “destruction of ecosystems” and “health impacted by pollution” will worsen in 2020.

  • global temperatures are on track to increase by at least 3°C towards the end of the century. This is twice what climate experts have warned as the limit to avoid extreme environmental consequences.
  • Economic stress:  Worldwide economic stress and damage from natural disasters in 2018 totalled $165 billion, and 50% of that total was uninsured.

iii.Environmental damages: 

  • Over the past few years,  Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (UK) have experienced heatwaves.
  • Wildfires occurred in Australia, Canada, Chile, Spain and the US (United States)
  • Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Sri Lanka have registered severe and longer droughts.

Infrastructure risks:

i.The survey rated “information infrastructure breakdown”will be  the 6th most impactful risk in the years until 2030.

ii.The multistakeholder community and the Global Shaper has identified cyber issues such as cyberattacks and data fraud or theft, within the list of top 10 long-term risks.

Economical stress:

i.Debt across G20 economies:  Across G20(group of 20) economies, public debt was expected to reach 90% of GDP in 2019, which is the highest level on record. The debt is also expected to grow even more to 95% in 2024.

ii.Slowest post crisis period: 2010s were the slowest post-crisis period in terms of growth since the 1970s. The economy was stuck with 3% growth since the great recession of 2007-08.

Health risks:
i.The WHO (World Health Organisation) estimates that AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) could result in 10 million deaths by 2050.

1st report:
i.The first ever report on global risks was launched by WEF titled Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) in 2006.

About World Economic Forum(WEF):
Founded- January 1971.
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland.
Founder & Chairman- Klaus Schwab.