Water, food, energy shortages pose increasing threat to economic growth, concludes report

Jan. 12, 2011
NEW YORK, NY, Jan. 12, 2011 -- A new World Economic Forum report conculdes that significant water, food, and energy shortages likely over the next ten years will adversely impact economic growth as demand for basic resources soars...

NEW YORK, NY, Jan. 12, 2011 -- There is a serious risk that the world will experience significant water, food, and energy shortages over the next ten years, and it is likely that economic growth will suffer as demand for basic resources soars. Global Risks 2011, Sixth Edition, a new report from the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Marsh & McLennan Companies and other partners, highlights these risks. It also argues that interconnections among them make responding effectively to shortages more difficult because a response can create new and worse problems.

The findings of Global Risks 2011, Sixth Edition were presented today at a World Economic Forum press conference in London and will be the topic of formal sessions and informal discussions at the WEF Annual Meeting 2011, to be held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, this month.

"Demand for food, water, and energy resources is growing by double digits. Yet chronic fiscal deficits are threatening investments in infrastructure crucial to improving availability and access to them," says John Drzik, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oliver Wyman Group, a division of Marsh & McLennan Companies. "The resulting shortages threaten global prosperity."

The report:

  • Analyzes the potential impact of 37 risks over the next decade -- from extreme commodity price volatility to macroeconomic imbalances to online data and information security
  • Argues that global risks know no boundaries and are tightly connected, potentially causing ripple effects impacting all stakeholders
  • Explains why energy, food, and water scarcity are mutually reinforcing chronic risks
  • Makes the case that developing integrated energy, food, and water management strategies is critical on a national and international scale

To see the report, visit http://www.oliverwyman.com/global_risks_2011.

About the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (www.weforum.org).

About Marsh & McLennan Companies
Marsh & McLennan Companies is a global professional services firm providing advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. It is the parent company of a number of the world's leading risk experts and specialty consultants, including Marsh, the insurance broker and risk advisor; Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, the provider of HR and related financial advice and services; and Oliver Wyman, the management consultancy. With over 50,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue of approximately $10 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies provides analysis, advice and transactional capabilities to clients in more than 100 countries. Its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) is listed on the New York, Chicago and London stock exchanges. Marsh & McLennan Companies website address is www.mmc.com.

About Oliver Wyman
With more than 2,900 professionals in over 40 cities around the globe, Oliver Wyman is an international management consulting firm that combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, organizational transformation, and leadership development. The firm helps clients optimize their businesses, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. For more information, visit www.oliverwyman.com.