Global Risks Report 2024: more than 1,400 leaders responded to the main threats to the planet


Three out of ten respondents consider that in the next two years the probability of suffering global catastrophes will increase and nearly two thirds fear that this will happen within a decade.

The threat posed by the effects of extreme weather events emerged as the main global risk in 2024, closely followed by false information and disinformation motivated by artificial intelligence, according to the Global Risks Report prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF). ).

Extreme weather was identified as the biggest risk in 2024 and misinformation (along with misinformation) came in second, both emerging as the most serious global threats over the next two years.

This could pose a special danger because billions of people will go to the polls in the biggest election year in history.

Major economies from the United States to India and Mexico will hold elections this year, so political and industry leaders are relying on polls and forecasts to gauge what the political environment will look like in 2025.

"The widespread use of disinformation and misinformation, as well as the tools to spread it, can undermine the legitimacy of newly elected governments," the report warns. "The resulting unrest could range from violent protests and hate crimes to civil clashes and terrorism," the report added.

The survey of more than 1,400 global risk experts, policymakers and industry leaders in September 2023 shows a predominantly negative view of the world in the short term, which is expected to worsen in the long term.

The report, prepared in collaboration with Marsh McLennan and Zurich, states that in the long term, in 10 years, environmental risks occupy the first positions, not only adverse climate phenomena but also changes in terrestrial systems, the loss of biodiversity or the scarcity of natural resources.

30% of global experts believe that, in the next two years, the probability of global catastrophes will be greater, and nearly two-thirds expect this to occur in the next ten years.

According to these opinions, the future will be marked by persistent economic uncertainty and growing economic and technological gaps.

Two-thirds of risk experts surveyed expect a multipolar or fragmented world order to emerge in the next decade, "in which medium and great powers contest, establish and enforce regional rules and norms," ​​according to the survey.

The pessimistic outlook of the survey was probably due to the series of risks unleashed in the last four years with repercussions on society, said John Scott, head of sustainability risks at Zurich Insurance Group, highlighting the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockouts until the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"It has been blow after blow to global supply chains," added Carolina Klint, European Commercial Director at Marsh McLennan.

Lack of opportunities

Lack of economic opportunity ranks sixth on the list of global risks for the coming years and, in the longer term, barriers to economic mobility could emerge that would leave large segments of the population out of economic opportunities.

Conflict-prone or climate-vulnerable countries could be increasingly deprived of investments, technologies and the resulting job creation, the report also warns, which would increase migration phenomena.

Furthermore, in the absence of access to safe and secure livelihoods, people could be more likely to fall into crime, militarization or radicalization.

In the business world, economic recession, inflation, labor shortages or energy supply shortages are the main global risks that business owners see in 2024.

Finally, the report, which was launched to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, calls on world leaders to rethink measures to address global risks.

It also recommends focusing global cooperation on urgently creating safeguards for the most disruptive emerging risks, such as agreements regulating the integration of artificial intelligence in conflict decision-making

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