The Global Risks Report 2020

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A report based on the WEF Global Risks Perceptions Survey of “nearly 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, academia, and civil society.” Scientists are not mentioned, although some respondents, most likely, have science backgrounds. This 15th annual edition on evolving risks summarizes the top ten by likelihood and impact.  The Top Five Risks for both Likelihood and Impact are listed in a chart on ”The Evolving Risks Landscape, 2007-2020,” and 30 risks are mapped on a 2×2 matrix of impact and likelihood as seen in 2020.

No action agenda is proposed, but the report is a valuable reminder that weapons of mass destruction and ruinous cyber-attacks can worsen environmental problems even more. We cannot have sustainability without security, but we also cannot have security without sustainability.

Top 5 risks in terms of Likelihood:

  1. Extreme Weather
  2. Climate Action Failure
  3. Natural Disasters
  4. Biodiversity Loss
  5. Human-Made Environmental Disasters
  6. Data Fraud or Theft
  7. Cyberattacks
  8. Water Crises
  9. Global Governance Failure
  10. Asset Bubbles

Top 5 risks in terms of Impact

  1. Climate Action Failure
  2. Weapons of Mass Destruction
  3. Biodiversity Loss
  4. Extreme Weather
  5. Water Crises
  6. Information Infrastructure Breakdown
  7. Natural Disasters
  8. Cyberattacks
  9. Human-Made Environmental Disasters
  10. Infectious Diseases