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Climate change ‘overtakes’ pandemic as #1 global concern

A survey carried out by the World Economic Forum suggests climate change has now overtaken the pandemic as the biggest cause for concern globally, according to the experts.

This is where we’ve come to. Both Covid-19 and climate change have wreaked such havoc in recent years that we’re now officially ranking them as threats. Here’s one top 10 that Ed Sheeran is nowhere near.

If you’re living in the wealthy west and are relatively unscathed by the impacts of climate change, you may be surprised to hear that experts deem it a far bigger cause for concern than the pandemic.

Despite the fact that, somewhat ironically, there are no real restrictions in place to preserve the planet’s immediate health, the World Economic Forum and its network of experts state that the crisis must come into focus now.

Driven by growing governmental pressure – and no doubt the constant vigour of protestors – at Cop26, more than 84% of experts who filled out the WHO global risks survey underlined climate action failure, extreme weather, and biodiversity loss as humanity’s chief threats.

Prior to when the pandemic hit in late 2019, climate change held the top spot in the annual survey but results would have surely been different had data been collated months later.

Between 2017 and 2019, North Korea’s purported weapons of mass destruction caused the most global trepidation, though that’s fallen out of the list entirely since. Phew.

Despite avoiding nuclear obliteration, this report shows that a mere 3.7% of respondents are optimistic about the outlook for the world for 2022 and beyond.

Of this pool of experts, mostly economists were represented with 44% of them hailing from Europe. Given this, it’s no surprise to hear that projected financial disruptions are a big factor in growing anxieties.

When you combine geopolitical tensions with the issue of ‘vaccine inequality’ –  whilst bearing in mind that developing countries are relying on financing to recover from the impacts of climate change – it goes without saying that serious conservations need to be had.

This is made all the more frustrating by the fact Davos 2022 has been delayed until the summer, due to the relentless spread of the Omicron variant. On all fronts, it seems, the pandemic continues to widen the gulf between the developed and developing world.

‘Health and economic disruptions are compounding social cleavages,’ said WEF managing director Saadia Zahidi.

‘This is creating tensions at a time when collaboration within societies and among the international community will be fundamental to ensure a more even and rapid global recovery.’

It’s truly tiresome when consuming daily news feels more like an exercise in self-sabotaging our mental health, but unfortunately this is just where we’re at. When it comes to finding existential reasons to be anxious, frankly, we’re spoilt for choice in 2022.

Memes about 2020 becoming a dark sequel really have come to fruition.