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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Climate Change Reappears As A Top Three Global Risk In The World Economic Forum’s Annual Risk Review

The World Economic Forum (WEF) – an independent international organisation - confirmed that rising greenhouse gas emissions remain as one of the three biggest threats to global stability in 2013. The recently published annual WEF Global Risks Report 2013 raised the profile of the three biggest global dangers for the year: severe income disparity, indebted state of governments and rising greenhouse gas emissions. The annual review is a comprehensive report based on the analysis of 50 global risks in terms of impact, likelihood and interconnections by over 1,000 experts from industry, government and academia. With the global risks ranked on a scale from 1 to 5 in terms of how likely the risk is to occur over the next 10 years.

According to the WEF, the threat of climate change and the sustained pressure on global financial systems creates the intertwined risks of both economic and ecological system failure. An unexpected and substantial collapse of one system is highly likely to impede the other system’s chance of developing an effective solution to mitigate the impacts of global strains. Further to this a water supply crisis is considered to be one of the most serious potential impacts likely to result from failure in the environmental system. Within the 2013 annual report the WEF is asking if it is possible to build resilience in our economic and environmental systems at the same time.


In light of these findings businesses must continue to adapt to changing environmental conditions incorporating climate change, as well as population growth and diminishing resources, into sustainability management. Data collected on rising global temperatures continues to highlight the importance of making real progress on global environmental issues, including the requirement for continued improvement in corporate environmental management. Analysis by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that all 12 years of the twenty-first century ranked among the 14 warmest years in the 133-year period of record keeping.

Image courtesy of Phillipe 2009, Flickr

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