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Polycrisis

Why is it in the news?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published the Global Risk Report 2023, which alerts the world about the polycrisis that results from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

What is polycrisis?

  • The cluster of crises is entangled, producing more harm than the sum of the crisis would produce in isolation.
  • These crises degrade the prospects of humanity.
  • The term polycrisis was first coined by the French theorist Edger Morin in the 1990s.
  •  The former president of the European Commission used the term "polycrisis" to describe the situation in Europe in 2016, which included debt from Brexit, the refugee crisis, and climate change.

What did the report mention about the polycrisis?

  • It was mentioned that the world is facing new yet familiar risks.
  • Some risks were already entangled with the new crisis and will lead to polycrisis.
  • Old risks- like a cost-of-living crisis, inflation, geopolitical confrontation, inflation, and widespread social unrest.
  • New crisis- low growth worldwide, deglobalization, fall in human development, unsustainable levels of debt, and increasing pressure on climate change. 

The report has categorized the risks of spam of time-

  • Short-term: 

      • the rising cost of living
      • The stagnant and slow growth of economies across the globe
      • Elevated food and energy prices
      • Natural resource crisis
  • Long-term:

    • Fail to mitigate climate change
    • Fail to adapt to climate change
    • Natural disasters and extreme weather conditions
    • Biodiversity and ecosystem collage
    • Geoeconomic confrontation

The report says that all these risks will lead to a polycrisis in ten years.

What are the reasons for the crisis?

  • Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine war
    • The war affected the world through a rise in food and energy prices. This inflationary pressure led to the cost-of-living crisis, further leading to social unrest.
    • The war overexploited natural resources.
    • Make it worse for climate change to mitigate.
    • The impact of both events led to hyperinflation and stagnant economic growth with extreme climate conditions.
    • As the pandemic situation became better, carbon emission increased.
    • The world is now facing a set of crises.
  • The rising population results in demand for necessities like food, energy, water, and other necessities.
  • The demand for natural resources keeps increasing as renewable energy systems expand.
  • The imbalance between the demand and supply of the resource will have catastrophic consequences.

All of these reasons might worsen the humanitarian and ecological crises.

What recommendations does the report make?

  • There is a need to call for collective actions by all governments and sectors to solve the problem of climate change and make the world more stable and better.
  • Minimize the effect of polycrisis by taking preparedness measures.
  • The focus should be on the short-term risks which will impact the long-term risks in the future.

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