by Tom Belger
(Yahoo Finance) – The coronavirus crisis should spur the world to “wake up to long-term risks” such as climate change, collapsing asset prices and weapons of mass destruction, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Global leaders’ biggest concerns about the decade ahead are laid out in a new report by WEF, best known for organising an annual summit of leaders at the Davos ski resort in Switzerland.
More than 800 business, government and civil society leaders were surveyed late last year about perceived risks in years to come for the WEF Global Risks Report 2021, published on Tuesday.
Respondents were asked to rank 35 potential short-, medium- and long-term risks. Infectious diseases and livelihood crises were the two greatest concerns for leaders over the next two years, in a sign of the severe and lasting damage expected to result from COVID-19 and government curbs on economies.
Other “clear and present dangers” included extreme weather and digital inequality. WEF’s report warns COVID-19 risked widening the gap between the haves and have-nots in both access to technology and digital skills.
Perceived risks most worrying leaders over the next two to five years include asset bubbles bursting, IT infrastructure breakdowns, price instability, commodity shocks and debt crises.