As the world continues to suffer the consiquences of a global pandemic and continued ecological disaster, a recently published report has outlined the biggest threats faced by the world and how businesses and nations can act in time to avert further danger. 

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2021 takes us back to a year languished by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic decline and worsening climatic conditions. The biggest change over the last year has been brought due to the pandemic, and the threat posed by coronavirus ranks number one in the report. In the 2020 edition of the report, it was ranked number 10.

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The report says that the immediate economic and human costs of COVID-19 are severe. “They threaten to scale back years of progress on reducing global poverty and inequality and further damage social cohesion and global cooperation”, says the report.

Therefore, it shows why contagious diseases are at the top of the impact list. It has amplified the crisis in some of the poorest parts of the world due to the loss of life, as well as the deteriorating economy, reported World Economic Forum.

These are the top risks in terms of impact, according to Global Risks 2021: infectious diseases, climate action failure, weapons of mass destruction,  biodiversity loss, natural resource crises, human environmental damage, livelihood crises, extreme weather, debt crises, IT infrastructure breakdown.

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In spite of the inevitable adverse effects of COVID-19 making the top of the list, it is climate-related issues that make the most of the risk list this year, which the report branded as “an existential threat to humanity”. Lockdown and reduced international trade and travel have caused a drop in carbon emissions. But there are concerns that emissions would rise once the economies would recover, reported World Economic Forum.

2021 risks report extracts data and insights from the Global Risks Perception Survey of the World Economic Forum. Over 650 members from the Forum completed the survey.