Global Risks Report 2020

The Global Risks Report 2020, the global risk report that is published every year before the World Economic Forum, for the first time identifies that the top five global risks in terms of probability are all environmental.

The serious threats to our climate represent all the major long-term risks of the Global Risks Report, with "economic clashes" and "internal political polarization" recognized as significant short-term risks in 2020. Economic and political polarization will increase this year , because collaboration between world leaders, businesses and policy makers is more necessary than ever to stop serious threats to our climate, the environment, public health and technological systems. This indicates a clear need for a multi-shareholder approach to mitigate risk at a time when the world can no longer wait.

Over 750 global experts and decision makers have been asked to rank their biggest concerns in terms of probability and impact, and 78% said they expect "economic clashes" and "internal political polarization" to increase in 2020.

This would prove catastrophic, in particular to face urgent challenges such as the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity and the decline of the species. The report highlights the need for policy makers to match the goals for protecting the Earth with those for reviving economies - and for companies to avoid the risks of potentially disastrous future losses by adjusting to scientific goals.

Climate Risk worries more than weapons of mass destruction

For the first time, therefore, in the ten-year prospects of the survey, the top five global risks in terms of probability are all environmental. In particular:

Extreme weather events with serious damage to property, infrastructure and loss of human life

Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation by governments and businesses

Environmental damage and man-made disasters, including environmental crimes, such as oil spills and radioactive contamination

Important biodiversity losses and collapse of the ecosystem (terrestrial or marine) with irreversible consequences for the environment, and serious impoverishment of human and industrial resources

Main natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and geomagnetic storms

The report shows that unless stakeholders adapt to today's "epochal change" or geopolitical turbulence - while still preparing for the future - time will run out to address some of the most pressing economic, environmental and technological challenges. . This indicates that action by businesses and policy makers is most needed.

"This is the year in which world leaders must work with all sectors of society to repair and reinvigorate our cooperation systems, not only to achieve short-term benefits, but also to face our deep-seated risks," he said. Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.

John Drzik, President of Marsh & McLennan Insights, said: "There is growing pressure on companies from investors, regulators, customers and employees to demonstrate their resilience to growing climate volatility. Scientific advances indicate that climate risks can now be modeled with greater precision and integrated into risk management and business plans. High profile events, such as the recent fires in Australia and California, are increasing pressure on companies to act on climate risk at a time of which also face greater geopolitical challenges. "

The Global Risks Report 2020 was developed with the invaluable support of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Advisory Board, in collaboration with Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group and consultancy from Oxford University, the National University of Singapore and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process Center (University of Pennsylvania).


Global Risks Report 2020