Extreme weather events ranked second for likelihood, while failure of climate change adaptation ranked seventh for likelihood and fifth for impact, in the 2015 global risks report published yesterday by the World Economic Forum.
While the WEF only identified a handful of risks in each category as environmental, the inventory included many of the risks associated with runaway climate change, including interstate conflict (first for likelihood, fourth for impact), water crises (first for impact, eighth for likelihood), spread of infectious disease (second for impact), and natural catastrophes (sixth for likelihood).
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The 900 experts who were consulted for the report placed more environmental risks than economic ones at the top of the list “because of a marked increase in their negative assessment of the way societies are preparing now to cope with challenges such as extreme weather, climate change, and water shortages,” Thorpe writes.
“This is attributed to the preoccupation of leaders with shorter term economic and conflict-related crises at the expense of longer-term ones.”