In the short term, the WEF points to probable risks to a jobs and livelihood crisis, widespread youth disillusionment, digital inequality and economic stagnation.
Extreme weather, failure of climate action and environmental damage caused by man are risks of greater probability in the next ten years, but in the short term and largely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is the employment crisis, of livelihoods, youth disillusionment, digital inequality and economic stagnation, as identified by the World Economic Forum (WEF), in its annual report Global Risk 2021.
Whether the gaps can be narrowed will depend on the actions taken in the wake of COVID-19 to rebuild for an inclusive and accessible future. Inaction on economic inequalities and social division can further paralyze action on climate change, which remains an existential threat to humanity, ”says Klaus Schwab, founder and CEO of the WEF, in the introduction to the document.
The study ranks the Top 10 risk for the world by probability such as extreme weather, failure of climate action and man-made environmental damage, and also raises the Top 10 of the risks with the greatest impact, such as infectious diseases, failure of climate action and weapons of mass destruction.
In the short term, in the next couple of years, the WEF points out probable risks to an employment and livelihood crisis, widespread disillusionment of young people, digital inequality, economic stagnation, human-caused environmental damage, erosion of social cohesion and terrorist attacks. Economic risks feature prominently for the three to five year period, including asset bubbles, price instability, commodity crisis, debt crisis; followed by geopolitical risks, including relational and interstate conflicts.
On the horizon of 5 to 10 years, environmental risks dominate such as the loss of biodiversity, crisis of natural resources and the failure of climate action, the completion of the period for the objectives of the 2030 Agenda.
Among the risks with the greatest impact of the next decade, infectious diseases rank first, followed by the failure of climate action and other environmental risks; as well as weapons of mass destruction, livelihood crises, debt crises, and breakdown of IT infrastructure.
The economic and human costs of COVID-19 are severe and threaten a setback from years of progress in reducing poverty and inequality and further weakening social cohesion and global cooperation.
“Underlying disparities in health care, education, financial stability, and technology have led to the crisis disproportionately affecting certain groups and countries. Not only has COVID-19 caused more than two million deaths to date, but the long-term health and economic impacts will continue to have devastating consequences, ”the report said.
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