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The Global Risks Report 2016

For this 11th Edition of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, nearly 750 experts assessed 29 separate global risks for both impact and likelihood over a 10-year time horizon. For the first time since the report's initial publication in 2006, an environmental risk topped the ranking for risk with the greatest potential impact: "failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation," was considered to have greater potential damage than weapons of mass destruction (which ranked 2nd), water crises (3rd), large-scale involuntary migration (4th), and severe energy price shock (5th). It also ranked third in terms of likelihood, behind large-scale involuntary migration (1st) and extreme weather events (2nd).

Also for the first time, four out of five categories – environmental, geopolitical, societal and economic – are featured among the top five most impactful risks. The only category not featured is technological risk, where the highest ranking risk is cyberattack, in 11th position in both likelihood and impact.

In addition to measuring their likelihood and potential impact, the Global Risks Report 2016 also examines the interconnections among the risks. The data suggests a convergence may be occurring, with a small number of key risks wielding great influence.

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