WWF statement on WEF Global Risks Report 2024

Posted on January, 10 2024

Climate change and nature loss are among the most severe risks we face - 2024 must be the year to rebuild public trust and deliver on commitments

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report 2024 counts extreme weather events and critical change to Earth systems as the greatest concerns facing the world over the next decade. While misinformation and disinformation is seen as the biggest short-term risk over the next two years, environmental risks dominate over a ten-year period.

The report found the top four most severe risks over the next ten years to be: extreme weather events, critical change to Earth systems, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, and natural resource shortages. Pollution also features within the top ten most severe risks. Concerningly, the report argues that cooperation on urgent global issues could be in increasingly short supply, underlining the importance of concerted action and collaboration to address the climate and nature emergencies. 

Commenting on the publication of the WEF Global Risks Report 2024, Kirsten Schuijt, Director General of WWF International, said:

“The interlinked crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are among the most severe risks the world has to contend with and cannot be tackled in isolation. We’ve just lived through the  hottest year on record with lives and livelihoods devastated by searing heatwaves and catastrophic floods and storms. Unless we take urgent action the threat is only set to intensify, pushing us closer to inflicting irreversible damage on society and ecosystems.

“By all working together to better protect and manage the Earth’s resources, we can turn the tide on nature loss and secure a brighter future for our planet, our common home. Governments and businesses can make 2024 the year they restore credibility and rebuild trust by getting on track to meet their 2030 climate and nature commitments - there’s no time to delay. This is essential to safeguard communities and the nature that sustains us all.”  


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact news@wwfint.org

The WEF Global Risks Report 2024 finds that environmental risks continue to dominate the risks landscape, with two-thirds of global experts worried about extreme weather events in 2024. Extreme weather, critical change to Earth systems, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, natural resource shortages and pollution represent five of the top 10 most severe risks perceived to be faced over the next decade.

WWF is concerned that countries are not on track to meet their 2030 commitments under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Business is instrumental in meeting the goals set by the Global Biodiversity Framework and the Paris Agreement. By using target setting frameworks, such as the Science Based Targets Initiative and Science Based Targets Network, businesses can reduce negative impacts on climate and nature. The WWF Risk Filter Suite can help companies to assess and lessen their nature-related risks. So far over one million locations have been uploaded by more than 10,000 registered users. That’s over a million places in the world where businesses understand better their biodiversity and water impacts and dependencies.