Trump's 'America First' Policy Increases Risk of Climate Change, War

Ann Santiago
January 18, 2018

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, next week to discuss security issues on the Korean Peninsula as well as the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

The including environmental threats from extreme weather and temperatures, economic inequalities and cyber attacks.

The annual survey of some 1,000 experts and decision-makers from around the world showed that 93 percent expect a worsening of political or economic confrontations between major powers, while almost 80 percent believe that risks of state-on-state military conflict will be higher in 2018 than in 2017.

According to the annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) of this report, of the nearly 1,000 respondents asked their views about the trajectory of risks in 2018, 59 percent of their answers pointed to an intensification of risks, compared with 7 percent for declining risks.

The group's survey, published ahead of its annual meeting in Davos, highlights the dangers posed by rising political tensions, protectionism, environmental degradation and cyberattacks.

Asked about trends for 2018, Joe McMonigle, a senior energy analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management, told there could be "a few geopolitical lottery tickets in 2018". "We were in a period of enlightenment following the horrors of World War II and now the people who remembered that are disappearing so we're going to go back and make the same mistakes", he said.

With global growth recovering, concerns about the economy were down sharply. "Businesses are increasingly dependent on technology and are aware that the openings hackers have are growing".

Around the world in 2016, about three-quarters of so-called interventions - such as imposing tariffs, or blocking imports of certain goods to protect domestic jobs - were protectionist in nature, and the trend appears to have continued through past year, the WEF said.

"The aggregate cost of cyber is now estimated by a number of sources at more than a trillion dollars per year versus the roughly $300 billion experienced in 2017 from losses to natural catastrophes and that was a record year".

Fears of an attack with weapons of mass destruction tops a list of the world's greatest concerns for 2018, a global risks survey has revealed.

Themed "Creating a shared future in a fractured world", the 2018 WEF meet will focus on worldwide cooperation on critical shared interests, such as worldwide security, environment, the global economy and divisions within societies.

Alison Martin, Group Chief Risk Officer of Zurich Insurance Group, said; "it's not yet too late to shape a more resilient tomorrow, but we need to act with a stronger sense of urgency in order to avoid potential system collapse".

In the past, these reports have been dominated by economic risks such market collapses, but environmental threats are now considered the biggest challenges facing humanity.

"This generation enjoys unprecedented technological, scientific and financial resources", but is "the first generation to take the world to the brink of a systems breakdown", Schwab wrote.

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