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Environment, nuclear fears top list of global risks

The World Economic Forum recently released their Global Risks Report for 2018, and natural disasters were listed as one of the biggest risks to global development in terms of likelihood and impact.

The report is released annually. This year, with the damage from the 2017 hurricane season and the rash of wildfires that ravaged California and the Pacific Northwest, environmental concerns topped the list.

Other top risks include cyber attacks and weapons of mass destruction along with climate change, failure to mitigate or adapt to climate change, extreme weather events and the possibility of a water crisis.

The report is based on an annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) where global experts and policymakers are asked to assess the likelihood of global risks on a scale of one (unlikely) to five (very likely to happen).

2018’s survey included almost 1,000 responders, and of those 59 percent agreed that 2018 was going to be a year of heightened risks compared to 2017.

The report also emphasized the growing chance that major political powers could clash resulting in conflicts, wars, and the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

Still, the environment is the biggest priority according to the results of the survey and report.

This presents an opportunity according to the World Economic Forum to focus on the coming challenges of climate change and rising greenhouse gas emissions.

“A widening economic recovery presents us with an opportunity that we cannot afford to squander, to tackle the fractures that we have allowed to weaken the world’s institutions, societies and environment,” Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum. “We must take seriously the risk of a global systems breakdown. Together we have the resources and the new scientific and technological knowledge to prevent this.”

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

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