Evironmental disasters, cyber attacks major risks in 2018, flags WEF

Javier Stokes
January 18, 2018

The top ten risks in terms of likelihood include extreme weather events, natural disasters, cyber attacks, data fraud or theft, climate change, involuntary migration, man-made environmental disasters, terrorist attacks, illicit trade and asset bubbles in major economies.

The WEF says worldwide security, the environment and the global economy will be the key topics at the annual meeting of business leaders, civil society advocates, academics, celebrities and others in the Swiss Alpine resort from January 23-26.

Additionally, the survey finds growing concern about geopolitical risk, as 93% of respondents expect increasing political or economic confrontation between major powers, and almost 80% foresee a rising risk of war.

Some of the biggest risks, the report noted, were attacks against critical infrastructure and connected industrial systems-many of which can cause physical harm in the process.

"There is now a high probability in any decade that we could have a catastrophic simultaneous failure of the USA and China's maize production, which together account for more than 60% of global supply", she said.

The findings were published today in the WEF's Global Risks Report 2018, less than a week before world leaders descend on the Swiss alpine resort of Davos to shape the global economic and political agenda.

Fears of an attack with weapons of mass destruction tops a list of the world's greatest concerns for 2018, a global risks survey has revealed.

Part of the rising concern over global risks is due to the growing complexity and interconnectedness of our global systems, the WEF said, where "sudden and dramatic breakdowns - future shocks - become more likely".

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The Venezuelan official said they were tipped off to the whereabouts of the group through these discussions. The high-ranking member of the Venezuelan government asked to remain anonymous.

"It's not surprising that extreme weather events rank as the number one risk", said Alison Martin, the chief risk officer at the Zurich Insurance Group.

"Unfortunately we now observe a "too-little-too-late" response by governments and organisations to key trends such as climate change".

WEF founder Klaus Schwab, in the report's preface, didn't address this criticism head-on, but said the forum aims to support change for the better of humanity by encouraging cooperation between governments and the private and charitable sectors.

The prospect of strong economic growth in 2018 presents leaders with a golden opportunity to address signs of severe weakness in numerous complex systems that underpin our world, such as societies, economies, worldwide relations and the environment, added the Global Risks Report 2018.

'A widening economic recovery presents us with an opportunity that we can not afford to squander, to tackle the fractures that we have allowed to weaken the world's institutions, societies and environment, ' said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

"Together we have the resources and the new scientific and technological knowledge to prevent this".

WEF said four in five survey respondents expect rising risks "associated with war involving major powers".

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