Q. Why in News?
A. Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the 18th Edition of Global Risks Report 2023 which seeks that the world be prepared for ‘Natural disasters and extreme weather events’ in the next two years.
- The WEF report has been released ahead of its flagship Davos 2023 Meeting, which is titled as Cooperation in a Fragmented World.
Q. What are the Findings of the Report?
- Most Severe Risks:
- ‘Failure to Mitigate Climate Change’ and ‘Failure of Climate Change Adaptation’ are the two most severe risks facing the world in the next decade, followed by ‘natural disasters and extreme weather events’ and ‘Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse’.
- Today, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have all reached record highs.
- Emission trajectories make it very unlikely that global ambitions to limit warming to 1.5°C will be achieved.
- Climate Action and Biodiversity Loss:
- The world has struggled to make the required progress on climate change despite 30 years of global climate advocacy and diplomacy.
- Failure on climate action to address climate change’ has continued to figure among the top risks in the report since 2011.
- Biodiversity within and between ecosystems is already declining faster than at any other point during human history.
- But unlike other climate-related risks, ‘Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse’ has not been perceived to be of concern over the short term.
- It has been ranked as the 4th most severe risk in the long term or over the next ten years (by 2033).
- Reversal of Climate Mitigation Progress:
- Growing demands on public- and private-sector resources from the socio-economic short-term crises attributed to geopolitical tensions, will likely reduce the speed and scale of mitigation efforts over the next two years.
- These have, in some cases, also reversed progress on climate change mitigation, at least over the short term.
- For example, the European Union spent at least 50 billion euros on new and expanded fossil-fuel infrastructure and supplies.
- Some countries including Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and France restarted coal power stations.
Q. What are Apprehensions and Threats?
- Over the next 10 years or by 2033, the interconnections between biodiversity loss, pollution, natural resource consumption, climate change and socioeconomic drivers will make for a dangerous mix.
- In the meantime, the current global pandemic and war in Europe has been held responsible for the energy, inflation and food crises. In fact, ‘cost of living’ ranks as the top most serious global risk in the short term (over the next two years).
- Failure to mitigate climate change is also a significant global risk that the world is least prepared for.
- 70% of the respondents in the WEF report said existing measures to prevent or prepare for climate change have been “ineffective” or “highly ineffective”.