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Misinformation tops short-term risks; extreme weather a long-term concern in 2024

GENEVA, Switzerland, January 14 ------ Misinformation and disinformation are the leading short-term risks in 2024, the World Economic Forum (WEF) warned in a new report released ahead of its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.    


The WEF's Global Risks Report 2024 also emphasized that extreme weather and critical changes to Earth systems are the greatest long-term concerns, and that cooperation on urgent global issues is lacking. The Geneva-based WEF warned that the top five risks over the next two years are misinformation and disinformation, extreme weather events, societal polarization, cybersecurity, and interstate armed conflict. Meanwhile, over the next decade, the leading risks are extreme weather events, critical changes to Earth systems, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, natural resource shortages, and misinformation and disinformation. The report shows a predominantly negative outlook for the world in the short-term, which is expected to worsen over the long term. Two-thirds of global experts anticipate a multipolar or fragmented order to take shape over the next decade. It underlines the need for more global cooperation and partnerships to tackle the planet's biggest risks. It also recommends measures such as shoring up individual and state resilience through digital literacy campaigns on misinformation and disinformation, and increasing research and development on climate modeling and technologies, with both public and private sectors playing a role. The report said that the coming years will be marked by persistent economic uncertainty and growing economic and technological divides.  


According to the World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund in October, the global recovery remains slow, with growing regional divergences and little margin for policy error. The baseline forecast for global growth is to slow from 3 percent in 2023 to 2.9 percent in 2024. Advanced economies are expected to slow from 2.6 percent in 2022 to 1.5 percent in 2023, and 1.4 percent in 2024 as policy tightening starts to bite, while emerging markets and developing economies are projected to have a modest decline in growth from 4.1 percent in 2022 to 4 percent in both 2023 and 2024. The WEF's report, produced in partnership with Zurich Insurance Group and Marsh McLennan, draws on the views of over 1,400 global risks experts, policymakers and industry leaders surveyed in September 2023.  


The WEF's 54th annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort Davos will be held next week from Jan. 15-19.  




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