Climate change has been highlighted as a top threat facing the international community in 2014. President Obama in his State of the Union said, “Climate change is a fact.” The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged government and business leaders to pass a legally binding climate change agreement by 2015 in his recent speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, and World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, called 2014 the year of climate action.
Businesses are also recognizing the need to adapt to climate change as indicated in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2014 report. The report, based on the survey of 700 industry and business leaders, says that four of the top 10 risks facing the world are linked to climate change. The top ten “Global Risks of Highest Concern” are:
- fiscal crises in key economies;
- structurally high unemployment;
- water crises;
- severe income disparity;
- failure of climate change mitigation and adaption;
- greater incidences of extreme weather events;
- global governance failure;
- food crises;
- failure of a major financial institution; and
- profound political and social instability.
For more information about climate change, you can read recent commentaries by Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and by P. Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestle SA and chairman of the 2030 Water Resource Group.