Research conducted by the international organization World Economic Forum (WEF) has opined that while infectious diseases are expected to have the biggest impact, climate change is still the greatest risk to the global economy.
The WEF 2021 Global Risks Report highlighted the rising inequality, including digital inequality, and the impact on young people while detailing the urgency of creating sustainable economies to address climate change.
Speaking about the report at a press conference, World Economic Forum Managing Ms. Saadia Zahidi remarked that “It is absolutely clear that if you look at the next 10 years, the biggest risk the world faces is still climate change. There is no vaccine for this, there is only the actions that we can take today to try to build more sustainable economies.”
The WEF research showed that while infectious diseases are considered the top global risk by the size of the impact, the climate crisis is considered the global risk most likely to have an effect.
In her address, Ms. Zahidi particularly highlighted the impact of global events on young people, calling them ‘pandemials’ further adding that “This doubly disrupted generation that saw both the financial crisis and now the pandemic induced recession.”
The Pandemic and Jobs
While WEF expects the digital transformation, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic to create 100 million jobs by 2025, the body also foresees the potential of the circumstances to displace 85 million jobs.
The international body states that the lack of digital skills among the 60 percent of adults around the world that will allow them to access educational or employment opportunities in the digital sphere is creating a risk of increased inequality.
Sharing his opinion about the advantages the early adopter of technology have, Mr. Guillame Barthe-Dejean, Chairman, Director’s office, of South Korean conglomerate SK Holdings remarked that “A learning point from the pandemic is that societies that digitized early, tended to perform better.”
“Digital technologies allowed for a smarter and a more centralized response to the pandemic, track and trace applications, better communications of directions from governments, a greater continuity in public services, including schools, and the minimized labor disruptions during lockdowns.”