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The World Economic Forum Details the Greatest Risks the World Will Face This Year

World map sateliteThe potential impact of climate change is expected to be the greatest risk the world will face in 2016. This was indicated in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, which collects input from nearly 750 experts on global risks related to economics, the environment, technology and more.

The report notes that climate change impacts a number of concerns, citing food security, fresh water management and ocean acidification as some examples. This is the first time in the history of the report that an environmental issue has topped list of risks.

After climate change, the top four major risks in terms of impact are as follows:

  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Water crisis
  • Large-scale involuntary migration
  • Energy price shock

The list of risks is incredibly broad, with 4 out of 5 risk categories—environmental, geopolitical, societal and economic—holding a place among the most impactful challenges of 2016.

It’s interesting to note that, while climate change tops the list of global risks, it ranks only at number five on the list of Canadian risks for 2016. Above climate change, the greatest four risks for Canada are as follows:

  1. Energy price shock
  2. Asset bubble
  3. Cyber attacks
  4. Failure of critical infrastructure

The World Economic Forum says that identifying global risks is a critical step to help mitigate potential harm. They also warn that a number of the risks that were identified in the report require serious collaboration from both the private and public sectors in order to appropriately address some of the major concerns.

For more information on specific risks and to review the report in its entirety, click here.


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