“Global Risks 2013″, 8th edition, points to persistent economic weakness
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The two most prevalent risks for the global economy in 2013 and years to come are wealth gaps (“severe income disparity”) followed by unsustainable government debt (“chronic fiscal imbalances”), according to the World Economic Forum’s eighth annual report on global risks, published 8 January. The report compiles a survey of over 1,000 experts and industry leaders, and this year’s “Global Risks 2013″, says Geneva-based WEF, “reflects a slightly more pessimistic outlook overall for the coming 10 years”. Respondents rated rising “greenhouse gas emissions” as the third risk and “failure of climate change adaptation” as the environmental risk “with the most knock-on effects for the next decade”.
Lee Howell, editor and managing director at the WEF, calls the risks “essentially a health warning regarding our most critical systems” and he warns that “National resilience to global risks needs to be a priority so that critical systems continue to function despite a major disturbance.”
The three risk cases and “X Factors” will be the focus of special sessions at the World Economic Forum meeting 2013 in Davos-Klosters, 23-27 January: the WEF labels x factors emerging concerns the report identifies that warrant more research. They include the rogue deployment of geoengineering and brain-altering technologies.
The survey shows younger people who took part as being more concerned about risk than older people and women as more pessimistic than men.
WEF video on the Global Risks 2013 report