Gloomy outlook for global recovery, World Economic Forum survey finds By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A helicopter flies over the ski resort during the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2020. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse

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By Carolyn Cohn

LONDON (Reuters) – Only one in ten members of the World Economic Forum polled expects the global recovery to accelerate in the next three years, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 business, government leaders and academics, with only one in six optimistic about the global outlook.

Climate change was rated as the number one danger by those interviewed in WEF’s annual risk report on Tuesday, as erosion of social cohesion, livelihood crises and deteriorating mental health have were identified as the risks that had increased the most since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. .

“World leaders must come together and take a coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach to tackle relentless global challenges and build resilience ahead of the next crisis,” said Saadia Zahidi, WEF Executive Director.

Extreme weather conditions were seen as the world’s greatest risk in the short term and a failure of climate action in the medium to long term – two to ten years, according to the survey.

The deal reached at the UN climate conference COP26 in November last year was widely applauded for keeping the outlook for a global warming cap at 1.5 degrees Celsius, but many of the nearly 200 countries had wanted to leave the Glasgow conference with more.

We are already seeing that climate change contributes to more extreme weather events.

“Failure to act on climate change could reduce global GDP by one sixth and the commitments made at COP26 are still not sufficient to reach the target of 1.5 (degree Celsius)”, Peter Giger, director of Group risks at Zurich Insurance, which helped compile the report, said.

The WEF report also highlights four areas of emerging risk – cybersecurity, disorderly climate transition, migratory pressures and competition in space.

The prospect of 70,000 satellite launches in the coming decades, in addition to space tourism, increases the risk of collisions and increased debris in space, in a lack of regulation.

“Who rules space? Said Carolina Klint, head of risk management for continental Europe at insurance broker Marsh, who also helped produce the report.

The report is published each year prior to the WEF annual meeting in Davos. However, the Geneva-based WEF last month postponed the event from January to mid-2022 due to the spread of the coronavirus variant Omicron.

The report was produced in collaboration with Zurich, Marsh McLennan (NYSE 🙂 and the South Korean group SK, the universities of Oxford and Pennsylvania, and the National University of Singapore.

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