The Case for a Global Catastrophic Risks Index

Developing some metrics that would convey a picture of the magnitude of risks faced by countries across the world, and their relative vulnerability and resilience to different types of shocks would be a worthwhile endeavor. It is often the case that policy makers and other stakeholders find it easier to focus on a particular set of problems only when these can be quantified in some way; it is often said that “only that which gets measured gets done.” In building a Global Catastrophic Risks Index we focus special attention on a set of global factors (e.g., climate change, biodiversity loss, natural disasters, environmental degradation, water scarcity, uncontrolled migration, vulnerabilities in the global financial system, vulnerability to pandemics, nuclear and conventional weapons proliferation and weapons of mass destruction) which affect all countries but in different ways. Developing an index that presented data for a large number of countries in terms of their risk profiles could be a powerful tool to generate a debate across multiple stakeholder groups, raise global awareness of GCRs and provide incentives for policy reform. (For further discussion on the construction of the Global Catastrophic Risks Index, click on the PDF below).

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Global Catastrophic risk index