How Will Climate Catastrophes Be Handled in the Face of Coronavirus?
A lot can change in three months. As the year got underway, climate change was widely viewed as the most serious threat to global prosperity. The annual risk perception survey of the 2020 Global Risks Report, published by the World Economic Forum in partnership with Marsh & McLennan, saw climate-related risks dominate the rankings in terms of both likelihood and impact.
Since then, climate change has fallen down the agenda as COVID-19 has risen up it. Although decision-makers were apparently blindsided by a virus, it does not mean their assessment of the risk posed by climate change was wrong. If anything, the pandemic has increased the threat.
Increasing Vulnerability to Climate Impacts
Consider extreme weather, ranked the No. 1 global risk in terms of likelihood. While the chance of catastrophic floods, heat waves, storms or wildfires is unaffected by the pandemic, vulnerability to these events has increased massively. Governments, companies and households are stretched to a breaking point: They are all less able to cope and less able to recover.
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