Not a top risk for CEOs

Not a top risk for CEOs

Climate change ranks eleventh among the issues that concern CEOs, according to a survey carried out by PwC ahead of the Davos summit.

Climate change was one of the key issues discussed at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos with 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg’s impassioned speech on the subject drawing many of the headlines. 

Yet a survey of the CEOs carried out by PwC ahead of the Davos summit found that among the principal issues concerning global business leaders, the climate crisis ranked only 11th in terms of threats to their companies’ growth prospects. 

Though climate-related problems climbed up a spot from a similar survey carried out last year, over-regulation was cited by the CEOs as the main threat to growth, holding first place, followed by issues such as trade conflicts, lack of skilled workers, and political populism. 

According to the survey, 24% of CEOs are “extremely concerned” about climate change, compared to 38% for over-regulation. 

The survey also found that the number of CEOs worldwide who are pessimistic about the economic outlook has almost doubled over the past year, with 53% predicting declining growth rates in 2020, up from 29% in 2019. Notably, it was the highest level of pessimism recorded by PwC since it began the annual survey in 2012. 

The survey found that pessimism was particularly widespread in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. 

PwC conducted 1,581 interviews, mostly online, with CEOs in 83 countries between September and October 2019. It measures the sample against national GDP to ensure that the views of CEOs in different regions are fairly represented.


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Paul Imison
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