World Economic Forum: income inequality and climate change among top global risks | National Union of Public and General Employees

World Economic Forum: income inequality and climate change among top global risks

World Economic Forum releases pessimistic report.  The report sees severe income disparity and Climate Change as among top three greatest risks to world economy.

London (10 Jan. 2013) – The world is more at risk as persistent economic weakness saps our ability to tackle environmental challenges, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2013 report (available here). 

The report sees severe income inequality and unsustainable government debt as top two most prevalent risks, in a survey of over 1,000 experts and industry leaders.  

Following a year scarred by extreme weather, from Hurricane Sandy to flooding in China, respondents rated rising greenhouse gas emissions as the third most likely global risk overall.  The failure of world governments to address climate change seen as the environmental risk with the most knock-on effects for the next decade.

“These global risks are essentially a health warning regarding our most critical systems,” warned Lee Howell, the editor of the report and Managing Director at the World Economic Forum.

Axel P. Lehmann, Chief Risk Officer at Zurich Insurance Group, said: “With the growing cost of events like Superstorm Sandy, huge threats to island nations and coastal communities, and no resolution to greenhouse gas emissions, the writing is on the wall. It is time to act.”

Developed with expert contributions from Marsh & McLennan Companies, Swiss Reinsurance Company, Zurich Insurance Group, the Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford), the National University of Singapore and the Wharton Center for Risk Management (University of Pennsylvania), Global Risks 2013 is the flagship initiative of the World Economic Forum’s Risk Response Network, which provides private and public sector leadership with an independent platform to build resilience by mapping, monitoring and managing global risks.

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