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'Big role' for engineers in global climate risk

Climate change

Civil engineers have a vital role in tackling the risk posed to global stability by climate change, according to a leading economist.

Speaking at the launch of The Global Risks Report 2017, World Economic Forum (WEF) managing board member Richard Saman said more civil engineers are needed to manage climate threats effectively.

“It seems to me that if we did what we said we want to do – which is to achieve all these goals – it will be very bullish for civil engineers,” he said.

“We will need more of them, and their compensation would probably rise. They have a big role to play in this.”

Climate change came second of the top three global risk trends for 2017, with rising income and wealth disparity, and increasing societal polarisation ranking first and third respectively.

All five environmental risks in the survey – including extreme weather events and major natural disasters – were ranked as both high-impact and high-likelihood for the first time, with extreme weather events emerging as the single most prominent global risk.

In this year’s survey around 750 experts assessed 30 global risks, along with 13 underlying trends that could exacerbate the problems.

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