Those with long memories will recall that these issues have been high on the Davos agenda for much of the past decade and, therefore, discussed by the great and the good of corporate and political life. So why has significant business action not necessarily followed?
Five years ago the WEF launched a report on the "Water-Energy-Food-Climate Change nexus". It was a recognition that water concerns were closely linked to issues such as inequality, terrorism, famine, poverty and disease. This set the stage for business to consider a rounded approach to addressing the intimately interwoven threats from water scarcity, energy and food security and climate change. While there has been some progress, however, there is little evidence of a step change in attitudes and practices commensurate with the scale of the challenges.
One reason for this inaction is what the Bank of England's governor, Mark Carney, called the "tragedy of the horizon" in his speech to the insurance industry in September 2015.
The impacts of many of these interconnected environmental risks fall outside the traditional decision-making horizons of most of those involved. Current decision makers have little incentive to fix the problem, even if they acknowledge and understand the risks. MORE
Photo courtesey of: EPA/Barbara Walton