I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

Lack of climate literacy in leadership teams is going to severely disrupt business going forward.

In the latest World Economic Forum Global Risks Perception Survey 2023-2024 leadership teams were asked: “Please estimate the likely impact (severity) of buiness and country risks over a 2-year and 10-year period.”

Here were the top 10 risks as perceived by leadership teams on the 2-year and 10-year time frame.

Can you see the problem here?

On the 2-year time frame extreme weather events are listed 2nd and pollution 10th

On the 10-year time frame, extreme weather events, critical change to Earth systems biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and natural resource shortages are listed as the top four and pollution 10th

What is driving:

Extreme weather events?
Critical change to earth systems?
Biodiversity loss?
Ecosystem loss?

We know the answer to that! It’s the continued burning of fossil fuels which is causing the CO2 and Methane levels to keep rising, which means we keep heating, which means we will continue to see extreme events, changes to the earth system, biodiversity loss etc.

What is causing CO2 and Methane levels to keep rising?

Failure to mitigate.

On the survey to create this data executives were given a risk option which stated “failure of climate-change mitigation.”

How many leadership teams selected this option to make up their top 5 risks? Leaders from just TWO of the 113 economies surveyed!

Just two.

Please understand, “failure of climate-change mitigation” is the greatest risk all businesses face because it drives so many of the other risks.

We have to turn off the GHG tap – we poured 58 Gt into the atmosphere in 2022 and we have to, starting this year, reduce this by 5.3% or 3 Gt in an attempt to achieve a below 2ºC pathway. During covid we managed a 4.7% reduction.

What this will require from all businesses is nothing short of revolutionary! But we are already lost if, the greatest risk, failure to mitigate, isn’t even recognised!