2020 Global Risks Report

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The 2020 Global Risks Report, prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF) with the support of Marsh & McLennan Companies, comes as long-mounting, interconnected risks begin to present themselves, and the need to address them becomes more urgent.

On the environment, the report notes with grave concern the consequences of continued environmental degradation, including the record pace of species decline. Respondents to our Global Risks Perception Survey are also sounding the alarm, ranking climate change and related environmental issues as the top five risks in terms of likelihood—the first time in the survey’s history that one category has occupied all five of the top spots.

On global health and technology, the report cautions that international systems have not kept up to date with the challenges of these domains, and that the global community is ill-positioned to address vulnerabilities that have come alongside the advancements of the 20th century.

Non-communicable diseases—such as cardiovascular diseases and mental illness—have replaced infectious diseases as the leading cause of death, while increases in longevity and the economic and societal costs of managing chronic diseases have put healthcare systems in many countries under stress.

Survey respondents also identified cyber-related issues, such as cyberattacks and data fraud or theft, within the list of top 10 long-term risks.  While the growth of digitalization offers opportunities that can best be captured through coordinated approaches among stakeholders, it also creates areas in need of coordinated solutions.

The Global Risks Report is part of an expanded Global Risks Initiative launched by the WEF this past year that includes sustained analysis at the global, regional and industry levels.

Click here to read the Global Risks Report 2020