The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented impacts across various spheres. To this day, the world is still trying to recover from the damages the pandemic has caused, while also trying to stop further negative impacts. Last month World Economic Forum released the 17th edition of the Global Risks Report. As every year, the report assesses global risks in the perception of world leaders and risk experts. In its six chapters, the report examines the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, ways forward, and economic, environmental, and geopolitical issues in this context. This year’s report clearly reveals the magnitude of impact the pandemic caused on the world and highlights the top three most severe risks in the planet: climate action failure, extreme weather, and biodiversity loss.
Although economic and social impacts are more apparent, the effects the pandemic has had on the environment and biodiversity are substantial. The Global Risks Report 2022 shows that, since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, risks such as human environmental damage, biodiversity loss, extreme weather, and climate action failure, have worsened by 7.8%, 8.4%, 22.7%, and 25.4%, respectively. Furthermore, climate change failure and extreme weather will soon become a critical threat to the world, followed by biodiversity loss, natural resources crises, and human environmental damage. These five represent 50% of the top ten most severe risks on a global scale.
Nonetheless, the risks are not isolated in themselves, generating repercussions to other risks and vice-versa. For instance, biodiversity losses impact not only their environment and habitats, but also have effects on livelihood crises, infectious diseases spread, and pollution harms to health, to mention a few. International cooperation is essential on directing efforts and resources to mitigate the current reality and potentially change future scenarios before those risks become irreversible or self-reinforcing.
For further insights, you can read the Global Risks Report 2022 clicking here, and watch below the Press Conference of The Global Risks Report 2022, where the speakers discuss key findings from the report: