The road to resilience
Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, breakneck technological change and a rapidly warming planet, the Global Risk Report published ahead of this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos points towards stronger public-private collaboration as the key to resilience.
Strikingly similar to previous editions of the annual risk report, environmental hazards continue to dominate across all of the risk landscapes’ different time frames. Two-thirds of respondents rank extreme weather as the top risk most likely to present a material crisis on a global scale in 2024. Down the line, environmental threats make up the top four risk factors. Over ten years, the greatest concerns are linked to critical changes to earth systems, biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, shortage of natural resources and the continued surge of extreme weather events.
While carrying the same familiar warnings as in 2023, this year’s risk report shows a clear disagreement in the urgency of environmental risks. The private sector highlights these risks as top concerns over the longer term, in contrast to respondents from civil society or government who prioritise these risks over shorter time frames. The dissonance in perceptions of urgency among global decision-makers implies the need for stronger alignment, heightening the need to find ways to foster public-private climate action.
While tie-ups between the public and private sectors are not without their challenges, uniting the two around achieving a shared goal can prove a highly effective way to effect real change.
In Denmark, decades of successful public-private climate action have allowed shifting governments to enact regulations with the support of business and industry. An example hereof is the 14 Climate Partnerships, dubbed the greatest green brainstorm in the nation’s history.
Representing key sectors of the Danish economy, the 14 partnerships had been tasked with presenting proposals on how their individual sectors can contribute to CO2 reductions while supporting Danish competitiveness, exports, jobs, welfare, and resilience. The exercise resulted in more than 400 tangible recommendations, serving as a blueprint for developing climate action plans.
With the call to up the efforts by world leaders at the Word Economic Forum in Davos, we hope our playbook on how to engage the private sector in climate action plans can act as a piece of Danish inspiration for other countries to follow.