Global Risks has said managers, scholars and government officials around the world feel the biggest threats they face are all connected to the environment.
The World Economic Forum, which published the survey on Wednesday, said this was the first time that all of the top five risks for the decade ahead were climate and environmental issues.
In this year’s poll, extreme weather events with massive destruction emerged as the most likely risk, followed by failure to tackle climate change, human-made environmental damage, biodiversity loss and natural disasters.
The report was published ahead of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland coming week, where government and corporate leaders gather every year to discuss the challenges ahead.
According to the president of the World Economic Forum, Borge Brende, the political landscape is polarised, sea levels are rising and climate fires are burning.
“This is the year when world leaders must work with all sectors of society to repair and reinvigorate our systems of cooperation, not just for a short-term benefit but for tackling our deep-rooted risks,’’ the former Norwegian politician added.
Although the survey showed heightened global concern for climate issues for the medium-term, current trade tensions and domestic political crises around the world cause the biggest headaches in the short-term.
Most of the respondents, when asked what risks will increase this year, they cited economic confrontations, followed by domestic political polarisation, extreme heatwaves, ecosystem destruction and cyber attacks.