Pandemics and climate change are combining with other global catastrophic risks, increasing the need to take urgent action. Previous warnings on pandemics were ignored, report calls for action on looming threats. “Global Catastrophic Risks 2020”, from the Global Challenges Foundation
Stockholm, 13 July 2020 – The world has been destabilised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Global risks affect everyone, everywhere. The global catastrophic risks are often interconnected in complex ways. The essays in the annual risk report on climate change and ecological collapse illustrate how environmental degradation has played a significant role in allowing diseases to migrate from animals to humans.
“Countries are unable to balance equally their sovereignty with the need to accept global recommendations that may infringe on that sovereignty”, writes David Heymann, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and author of the Global Catastrophic Risks 2020 section on pandemics.
“For the UN to be relevant requires the Security Council being able to also address issues such as climate change, pandemics and other global catastrophic risks” said Jens Orback, Executive Director of the Global Challenges Foundation.
Clearly, we need a global and integrated effort to manage the complexity and inter-related nature of catastrophic risks. As the report brings together experts in the greatest threats to humanity, we decided to interview them on what can be learned from global governance in their field, what are the main barriers to an effective integrated global approach to global risks, and what are the most important steps from here.
The Global Challenges Foundation publishes its yearly report on global catastrophic risks and their current governance. Renowned experts describe the current state of affairs in climate change, weapons of mass destruction, pandemics, ecological collapse, asteroid impact, dangerous AI, and supervolcanic eruption, all risks that potentially threaten the very survival of humanity. The experts also describe the governance in their respective fields.
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The Global Challenges Foundation works to incite deeper understanding of the global risks that threaten humanity and catalyze ideas to tackle them. Rooted in a scientific analysis of risks, the Foundation brings together the brightest minds from academic, politics, business and civil society to forge transformative approaches to secure a better future for all. www.globalchallenges.org