Everyday we are faced with headlines containing the word ‘threat’ or ‘crisis’, but what actually are the biggest threats that today’s world is facing?
Prior to the World Economic Forum next week, results have been released following a review of the biggest issues that could affect the world over the next 10 years. The same analysis from last year’s survey listed state conflict and water security high up the list of global issues. However this year’s report, carried out by over 750 experts, identified all the significant environmental, geographical, political and economic threats that may worsen in the next decade.
Here is a list of the greatest risks found following the World Economic Forums research:
Although economic issues feature far less prominently, unemployment still remains an important issue. A slow but steady economic growth reduces the likelihood of another financial crisis happening any time soon, but the likelihood of unemployment still remains high. Consistent joblessness keeps inequality within society and causes a lot of social tension. Yet again, the opportunity for global prosperity remains out of reach. Vast technological advancements and a slow economic growth also mean that unemployment is set to be a long term issue.
Headlines of the large scale migration crisis reach us on a daily basis, but this issue will expand further over the next 18 months. This involuntary but necessary mass movement of people in the past year is set to continue, overtaking other potential global risks. Records show that over 60 million refugees fled from their homes in the previous 12 months. The government and policy makers have to prioritise this crisis and support those in need.
3. Climate change
Even though migration has the greatest likelihood of persisting, climate change looks to have the greatest overall impact on the world. The inability to confront the issue of the temperature rising means that climate change has now been classified as a Global Risk. This was outlined before the 2015 Climate Change conference in Paris. However, dealing with the effects of climate change can prove a much more complex task when compared to other issues,
4. State Conflict
The results from the survey also revealed that one of the biggest threats to affect the world in the next 10 years will be from political tensions. Such crises including that in Ukraine, Middle-East, Russia, China are all suffering from strained relations and strategic power struggles. Although these struggles are not directly violence related, these issues can cause global instability in both the present and the future.
5. Oil Prices
Oil prices have dropped to the lowest prices since 2004. This reduction in price has come as a positive shock for the global economy and has helped from consumer spending. The recent results shown that petrol may even become cheaper than bottled water in the UK. However, experts say that the quicker the price reduces the faster it will rebound. These potential higher prices could squeeze consumers and increase global inflation.