Environmental and geopolitical concerns are the main threat to humanity in 2017. To such conclusion experts of the world economic forum (WEF) in Davos, it follows from the next annual report of the forum on global risks Global Risks Report 2017, seen by RBC.
All the experts identified 30 global risks and 13 trends that can enhance or change the ratio between them. Risks are divided into five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological. Compared to the previous year, their composition has not changed. The only exception is the new risk "the ineffectiveness of regional and global governance", defined as the inability of regional and global structures to solve economic, geopolitical and environmental problems.
The top ten most likely risks of 2017 — three of the areas of environmental protection and three of geopolitics, the environmental above: the two of them entered the top 3 global risks. It is extreme weather events and large-scale natural disasters. The top ten also included the risks of man-made environmental disasters.
Last year in the field of climate change, there has been significant progress: more than a hundred countries, including major economies of the world — the United States and China, ratified the Paris climate agreement in 2015, regulatory measures for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the report said. However, changes in the political sphere of Europe and North America are a threat to these achievements, warns WEF.
Between the powers there is no trust
The second largest category of risks — geopolitics. Among them the most dangerous — major terrorist attacks, followed by interstate conflicts and ineffective governance. The growth of geopolitical risks is facilitated by a number of factors, experts believe the WEF. Among them a unilateral approach to international Affairs instead of the necessary collective efforts of the international community. In addition, countries openly accuse each other of meddling in its internal Affairs. "President Putin has accused the US of seeking to undermine the stability of the world system and the sovereignty of Russia, and in 2016, the national security Agency, the U.S. accused Russia of meddling in the presidential election in America," the report notes.
Geopolitical tensions and contributes to the inefficiency of the state authorities. In Syria, it provoked a civil conflict that forces people to migrate to countries experiencing serious economic problems such as slowing GDP growth and growing inequalities, give an example, the WEF experts. Differences of world powers paralyze the work of the UN, preventing the termination of the conflict and to provide humanitarian assistance in the zone of hostilities civilians.
The risk of conflict is exacerbated by technological innovations. In areas such as military robotics and artificial intelligence, is accelerating the arms race, report of the WEF. Against this background the forum's experts noted the apathy and slowness of the institutions responsible for global security.
Painful search for identity
In third place — the technological risks: fraud with personal or proprietary data, or theft, has reached an "unprecedented scale". Among the most likely technological risks of the next decade, experts have called large-scale cyber-attacks (the sixth place in the top ten). They also agree that in the coming years, the destructive effect of technology on non-productive sectors of the economy will only intensify: the rapid development of robotics, sensors and machine learning will displace human labor from the service sector.
The top ten also includes risks of social and economic large — scale forced migration and trafficking (including money laundering, smuggling, etc.), respectively. The sudden influx of migrants has increased pressure on social systems and resources the report. So, in 2015 in Europe was attended by 1 million workers is four times more than in 2014. In addition, the support of the citizens of the UK exit from the EU mills were regarded as a reaction to the uncontrolled influx of migrant workers, experts say WEF.
Issues of identity and culture lie at the basis of the most radical changes in political life of the West in 2016 — the victory of the Republicans at the election party and their candidate in the presidential elections in the United States and Brexit in the UK, say the authors of the report. They noted the strengthening of the position of nationally oriented parties in the EU and the growth of support for their ideology. To key social trends outside the EU, the WEF experts attributed the increasing polarization of society in Turkey (in July, the country attempted military coup), as well as the adoption by Russia of its national political identity through implementation of increasingly stringent international policy.
The ten most likely risks of 2017, the WEF experts also included illegal trade. Under this wording, they mean a whole series of illegal acts: the illegal movement of funds, tax evasion, trafficking, production and distribution of counterfeit goods and organised crime — factors that undermine social interaction, regional and international cooperation, as well as the growth of the world economy.
Among the 13 trends that can strengthen global risks or to change the ratio between them, the experts, the WEF has included the ageing population, the changing role of international institutions (UN, IMF, NATO), climate change, degradation of the environment, the growth of the middle class in emerging economies increasing national sentiment-oriented, deepening the polarization of society, the growing number of people suffering from chronic diseases, the growing reliance on digital technologies, the growing geographical mobility of the population, the increase in the income gap between rich and poor, the displacement of the centers of power, and increasing urbanization.
Tags: assessment , geopolitics