Emerging risks: climate change and cyber risk top the list of public concerns

AXA has released the eighth edition of its Future Risks Report. This global study measures and ranks the evolution of the perception of emerging risks as seen by a panel of risk management experts as well as by public opinion. More than 23,000 people were surveyed. This report is produced in partnership with Ipsos and the geopolitical analysis consultancy Eurasia Group.

The author(s)

  • Alice Tétaz Public Affairs, France
  • Etienne Mercier Public Affairs, France
Get in touch

Access the French article

  • Despite the health crisis, climate change becomes once again the first on the ranking
  • Cyber risk is on the rise and is becoming the number one concern in the United States
  • Societies are still too unprepared to face these challenges

Climate change risks are back at the top of the global ranking. Awareness is highest in Europe, where experts and the public once again place this risk at the top of the list. It is only in third place in Asia and the Middle East and only in fourth place in Africa, where the pandemic remains the main concern.

The study reveals a strong concern about cyber risk in a context still marked by the acceleration of the digital transformation and the explosion in the number of cyber-attacks. For the first time, this risk takes the lead in the United States and the second place in all other geographies.

The pandemic risk, which was ranked first last year, has dropped to third place in the experts' rankings, but remains the highest concerns of the general public, whose daily lives are still marked by the health crisis. The pandemic has had a lasting impact on the feeling of vulnerability to health risks. More than 70% of respondents say they are concerned about the risks of infectious diseases, chronic diseases, and the impact of long-term exposure to toxic substances.

In general, the survey reveals a low level of confidence in the ability of governments to address these risks alone. Faced with increasingly complex risks, more than 55% of respondents consider that a collective and global approach is the most appropriate way to propose effective solutions.

top 10

As an insurer, our mission is to offer protection solutions for today's risks, but also to help our clients and society anticipate tomorrow's risks. AXA's Future Risks Report is an essential tool for achieving this. This edition is marked by the return of climate change as the number one risk, but also by the strong concern regarding cyber risk. In the aftermath of the health crisis, this report also reveals our society’s high expectations towards public and private players to offer new and collective protection to face constantly evolving risks

Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA

Discover the AXA Future Risks Report 2021



About the AXA Group
The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 153,000 employees serving 105 million clients in 54 countries. In 2020, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 96.7 billion and underlying earnings to Euro 4.3 billion. AXA had Euro 1,032 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020.

The author(s)

  • Alice Tétaz Public Affairs, France
  • Etienne Mercier Public Affairs, France