Climate risks remain a global concern in 2022

Climate change continues to be seen as one of the greatest threats to humanity, while failure to act on climate will cause the most damage over the next decade.

This emerged from the Global Risks Report 2022, a series of annual studies by the World Economic Forum that track perceptions of global risks among experts, business leaders, governments and civil society, highlighting focus on economy, environment, geopolitics, society and technology.

For the 2022 report, climate change risks represented the top three risks by severity, with failure of climate action, extreme weather conditions and loss of biodiversity – reduction in the number of genes, species, of individual organisms and ecosystems – dominating. Environmental damage caused by people, as well as the crisis in natural resources, were also among the top 10 global risks for the next 10 years.

Up to 77% of respondents said efforts to mitigate climate change had not even begun and only one in six were optimistic about the future.

Covid-19 was also highlighted in the report, with changes in the global risk of the pandemic expected to be seen in the next two to 10 years as the effects of the virus began to wane.

After the report was released, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said policymakers and business people were finally realizing the real risks posed by climate change and biodiversity loss.

“It’s the result of a new ‘ecological awakening’,” said WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini. “And that’s why headlines and social media are regularly dominated by stories about wildfires, droughts, extreme weather, resource scarcity, wildlife loss and of course, the global pandemic. In progress.”

He said there was finally an understanding that to build a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future, stable climate change and a healthy natural world must be ensured.

As world leaders prepare for this year’s biodiversity talks in China, it is essential that they act on society’s concerns and finally connect the dots between climate change, the destruction of nature and our model. production and consumption,” said Lambertini.

“They must also move from pandemic response to pandemic prevention by adopting a One Health approach that recognizes that people’s health is closely linked to animal health and the natural environment.”

Teresa H. Sadler