The Global Risk Report 2022 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) identifies the major challenges we face as a planet and as a society.
Climate, the biggest risk
Again, the health of the planet remains the greatest concern. Environmental risks, in particular "extreme weather" and "failure of climate action" emerge as the main risks in the short, medium and long term because of their potential to cause the greatest harm to people and the planet.
In fact, the five most voted risks in the study for the period between 2027 and 2034 are climate-related: environmental policy failure, extreme weather, biodiversity loss, natural resource crisis and human environmental damage.
According to the WEFgovernments, businesses and societies face increasing pressure to make the transition to net zero economies. An aggressive and rapid transition would alleviate long-term environmental consequences, but could have severe short-term impacts, such as putting millions of carbon-intensive industry workers out of work or triggering tensions.
Economic crisis, the most worrying thing for Spain
The second most prominent risk in the short term is the "livelihood crisis", an indicator that encompasses rising unemployment, underemployment, lower wages, fragile contracts, erosion of workers' rights, and the like.
This risk has been rated by the Spanish experts who participated in the survey as the most worrying, followed by economic stagnation and the debt crisis. The report states that this crisis may trigger an increase in inequality and access to opportunities, as well as worse health, humanitarian and migration crises.
The most serious challenge that remains from the pandemic is economic stagnation. The macroeconomic outlook remains weak, with the global economy expected to be 2.3 % lower by 2024 than it would have been without the pandemic.
Commodity prices, inflation and debt are rising in both the developed and developing world. The pandemic and its economic consequences continue to affect countries' ability to control the virus and facilitate sustainable recovery.
Together with labour market imbalances, protectionist policies and growing disparities in education, the economic consequences of the pandemic risk widening the gaps between countries.
Social cohesion and mental health
The "erosion of social cohesion", and the "deterioration of mental health" are other major threats to the world in the next two years.
Geo-economic confrontations', including those currently taking place between the US, China, Europe and Russia, will emerge as a critical threat to the world in the medium to long term, and for respondents this is one of the most serious potential risks for the next decade.
Increasing reliance on digital systems
Emphasised by COVID-19, this technological dependency has increased cybersecurity risks. "Digital threats are growing and are outpacing the ability of societies to prevent or respond to them effectively. For example, in 2020, malware and ransomware attacks increased by 358% and 435% respectively.".
Outlook for the coming years
41.8% of the experts who contributed to the survey predicted that the global situation in the coming years will be negative and "volatile with constant surprises", while 37.4% anticipated "fractured trajectories separating winners and losers", and only 10.7% thought there would be an "accelerated global recovery".
Also, 61.2% of the participants responded that they were 'worried' about the future, while 23% responded that they were 'anxious'.
Download the full report here: https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-risks-report-2022