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article imageClimate expected to dominate World Economic Forum in Davos

By Karen Graham     Jan 16, 2019 in World
Davos - The world is facing the increased risk of political confrontations between major powers, which is hindering solutions to challenges like climate change and cyberattacks, a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) said Wednesday.
Thousands of business, political and cultural leaders from all over the world will return to the snowy mountains of Davos, Switzerland next week to discuss the latest global issues. And at the top of the list are the results of a survey on the most critical risks the world faces.
The annual Global Risks Report 2019, which incorporates the survey of close to 1000 experts from government, business, academia and non-governmental organizations, showed that 90 percent of respondents expected additional economic confrontations between major powers. Eighty-eight percent said they expected further erosion of multilateral trading rules.
"Lots of populist political figures are getting elected and changing the agenda to be more protectionist (and) more nationalist, and as a result (they are) weakening multilateral bonds — and that's expected to continue into 2019," John Drzik, president of global risk and digital at Marsh, told CNBC's "Street Signs Europe."
Climate change risk rises to second place
While "extreme weather events" sits at the top of the list of global risks in 2019, the failure by governments to limit the magnitude of climate change and adapt to it has shot up from fifth place to second place on the list. Major natural disasters come in at third on the list.
“Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” said the report.
The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 — where 200 countries, including the United States, agreed to tackle climate change —has taken a back seat on the world stage as the world deals with the globalization of the world economy and the growing nationalism of world politics.
The cost of climate-related disasters hit $2.25 billion over the last two decades  the  United Natio...
The cost of climate-related disasters hit $2.25 billion over the last two decades, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction said, listing United States, China, Japan and India as countries where the financial toll has been highest
DAVID MCNEW, GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File
With Donald Trump announcing in 2017 his intention to pull out of the Paris agreement, a move he emphasized again in 2018, the United States relinquished its role as a world leader in environmental issues to China. Trump attended the talks in Davos last year but will be sending Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the talks that begin on January 22.
“People … are beginning to understand increasingly the gravity of the situation and that the Paris Agreement, even if fully implemented, cannot be seen as a panacea,” Aengus Collins, the report’s author, and project leader told Reuters
China tops the list of new displacements due to disasters  with 7.4 million people driven from their...
China tops the list of new displacements due to disasters, with 7.4 million people driven from their homes
STR, AFP/File
Global disorder may be fueling a catastrophe
Many people don't really know what the purpose of the World Economic Forum is or even what it is supposed to accomplish. The Forum's mission is cited as being "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas."
With the diversity of occupations, businesses, and academics represented in the WEF, it is easier to understand how economics, the environment, governments, world trade and many other things we take for granted are interrelated. We are a global community, and none of us can go it alone when it comes to solving the world's problems.
More about World economic forum, Davox climate change, failure of world governments, top risk
 
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