Climate worries, geopolitical tensions top risks in global survey

Published 16.01.2019 23:35
Updated 17.01.2019 00:15

Decision-makers around the world are most worried about the environment and climate change, according to a survey that was published ahead of next week's World Economic Forum in Davos.

While environmental issues top the list of overall risks, nearly all of the respondents also said that the risk of tensions between major powers will increase this year. The World Economic Forum polls about 1,000 decision-makers and experts in various fields for its Global Risks Report every year.In the 2019 edition that was launched yesterday in London, the three most likely risks that emerged are extreme weather events, failure to curb and adapt to climate change, and natural disasters.

Criminal misuse of data and cyberattacks were also among the five most likely risks. Respondents were asked what threats will grow more dangerous in 2019.

Around 90 percent feel that economic tensions between major powers and the erosion of global free-trade rules will get worse, while 85 percent worry about increasing political tensions between powers. Populism, fake news and political polarization were also named among the 10 most acute risks. "With global trade and economic growth at risk in 2019, there is a more urgent need than ever to renew the architecture of international cooperation," said World Economic Forum President Borge Brende.

Some 3,200 politicians and executives will gather next week in Davos, Switzerland to look at the challenges in the year ahead.

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