Climate risks remain a global concern in 2022

Climate change continues to be regarded as one of the greatest threats to humanity, while climate action failure will cause the most damage in the next decade.

This came out in the Global Risks Report for 2022, a series of annual studies by the World Economic Forum that track global risk perceptions among specialists, business leaders, governments and civil society, with a focus on the economy, environment, geopolitics, society and technology.

For the 2022 report, climate change risks accounted for the top three risks by severity, with climate action failure, extreme weather and biodiversity loss — the reduction in the number of genes, species, individual organisms and ecosystems — dominanating. The environmental damage caused by people, as well as the natural resources crisis, were also among the top 10 global risks for the next 10 years.

Up to 77% of the respondents said efforts to mitigate climate change had not even started and only one in six were optimistic about the future.

Covid-19 was also highlighted in the report, with changes in the global risk from the pandemic expected to be seen in the next two to 10 years as the effects of the virus began to fall off.

After the release of the report, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said policy-makers and business people were finally waking up to the real risks posed by climate change and biodiversity loss.

“This is the result of a new ‘eco-awakening’,” WWF international director-general Marco Lambertini said. “And it is why news headlines and social media are routinely dominated by stories about wildfires, droughts, extreme weather, scarcity of resources, loss of wildlife and of course, the ongoing global pandemic.”

He said there was finally an understanding that to build a safer, more prosperous and equitable future, a stable climate change and healthy natural world needed to be secured.

As the world’s leaders gear up for this year’s biodiversity talks in China, it is critical that they act on society’s concerns and finally connect the dots between climate change, the destruction of nature and our current production and consumption model,” said Lambertini.

“They must also move from responding to pandemics to preventing them by adopting a One Health approach that recognises that the health of people is closely tied to the health of animals and the natural environment.”

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Marcia Zali
Marcia Zali is an award winning journalist

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Yengeni’s complaint against Zondo is legally uncertain

The chief justice was acting in a non-judicial capacity when chairing the state capture inquiry, so the complaint probably falls outside the law but underscores the risk of naming sitting judges to investigate political scandals

Covid-19 escalates xenophobia in South Africa – Report

Politicians have increasingly come under scrutiny for their alleged inflammatory comments which have been taken as endorsement by anti-foreigner activists

Metaverse: Virtual economy to pump $40bn into African GDP

A study suggests that the virtual world platform could plug more than 40 billion US dollars into the African economy in its first decade.

Bradley Carnell’s shot at US footballing greatness

St Louis City’s head coach has the opportunity to build a legacy from scratch at the midwest club, the latest franchise added to the Major League Soccer.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…