Time of unparalleled complexity

Børge Brende, World Economic Forum President: “Renewing and improving the architecture of our national and international political and economic systems is this generation’s defining task. It will be a monumental undertaking, but an indispensable one. The Global Risks Report demonstrates how high the stakes are.”

This is a time of unparalleled disruption and complexity. Risks—such as climate change, inequality and geopolitical tensions—transcend borders and sectors. However, the collective will to address these challenges is threatened by the sheer scale of the task. With its mission of public-private cooperation and the breadth of its multistakeholder network, the World Economic Forum is uniquely positioned to navigate today’s risks landscape.

Global Risks Report 2021

Global Risks Report 2021: Fractured Future

The 16th edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2021: Fractured Future analyses the risks from societal fractures—manifested through persistent and emerging risks to human health, rising unemployment, widening digital divides, youth disillusionment and geopolitical fragmentation.

Businesses risk a disorderly shakeout which can exclude large cohorts of workers and companies from the markets of the future. Environmental degradation—still an existential threat to humanity—risks intersecting with societal fractures to bring about severe consequences. Yet, with the world more attuned to risk, lessons can be drawn to strengthen response and resilience. In 2020, the risk of a pandemic became reality. As governments, businesses and societies grapple with COVID-19, societal cohesion is more important than ever.

Risk for banks

The looming risk for banks: biodiversity loss

Society faces a critical juncture in one of the defining challenges of our time: the loss of biodiversity. It places severe costs on our economy. Stakeholders require information regarding their exposure to nature-related risks, and how entities are improving resilience across strategic, operational and financial dimensions. But how does biodiversity loss impact financial institutions? Read more

Increasing interest in Smart City

I see increasing interest in Smart City from our companies and residents

Michel Bezuijen* started his administrative career as councillor and first deputy mayor of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. In 2013 he became mayor of the municipality of Rijswijk and in March 2019, the city council of Rijswijk nominated him for a second term as mayor. On June 18, 2020, Bezuijen was nominated by the Zoetermeer city council as the new mayor. He is scheduled to be appointed on 1 October 2020.

The energy transition is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We can only successfully complete this turnaround if we ensure that there is broad support. Retaining comfort, affordability and realism are key concepts in Rijswijk. As a municipality, we are very aware of what this means for our residents. That is why the focus of our own actions on affordability, efficiency and realism lies in our timetable.

Read more

*Michel Bezuijne is former chairman of the board of PRIMO Nederland.

SDG’s as frame of reference

The board of PRIMO Europe has decided that the association explicitly accepts the Sustainable Development Goals as a referential set of public values for good governance. This will be expressed in the general communication of the association as well as in the use of products and services in the overall setting of the portfolio.

The association would like to formally express the following statement:

“PRIMO considers the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as a framework with essential and elementary public values for the development and delivery of its products and services related to good public governance in general and to public risk management in particular. The SDG’s are considered as a permanent set of referential points for all activities of its association.”

ISO and climate change

PRIMO Europe is focused on helping organisations – as the highest form of public risk management – to implement frameworks, methods and techniques to improve on the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 13 is Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

The goals has 5 targets:

  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.
  • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
  • Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.
  • Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities.

ISO 14000 family

We think that the package of ISO standards developed for tackling climate change, or at least take action on the shortest term possible, can be very helpful.

The ISO 14000 family of standards for environmental management developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, is firmly established as the global benchmark for promoting good practice in environmental management and design. The ISO 14000 family also includes supporting tools for environmental management and the design of environmentally friendly products and services.

  • ISO14001 Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use. This standard helps organizations achieve their objectives in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Other standards in the family include :

  • ISO14004, Environmental management systems – General guidelines on implementation
  • ISO14006, Environmental management systems – Guidelines for incorporating ecodesign
  • ISO14040, Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and framework
  • ISO14044, Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Requirements and guidelines

For more information download ISO Climate Change.

Banks for a green agenda

Banking imperatives for managing climate risk

More than regulatory pressure is driving banks to manage climate risk. Financing a green agenda is also a commercial imperative—but specialized skills are needed to protect balance sheets. The surface temperature of the Earth has risen at a record pace in recent decades, creating risks to life, ecosystems, and economies. Climate science tells us that further warming is unavoidable over the next decade, and probably after that as well. In this uncertain environment, banks must act on two fronts: they need both to manage their own financial exposures and to help finance a green agenda, which will be critical to mitigate the impact of global warming. An imperative in both cases is excellent climate-risk management. Read more

Covid-19 against climate change

How COVID-19 might help us win the fight against climate change

Victoria Crawford

The COVID-19 pandemic has elicited a global response unlike anything we’ve seen before. From government and business taking on new roles to respond to the crisis to the complete re-organisation of how we work, travel and socialize, we have witnessed transformational changes that didn’t appear possible just weeks ago. The human costs of the pandemic are horrifying, but the response has largely been characterised by care, compassion and connection – and an unheard-of pace of change. Read more

“If the pandemic teaches us to acknowledge our vulnerability to high-impact shocks such as pandemics and climate-related disasters, we will be infinitely better placed to prepare for them.”


Resilience Radar: Present

Based on news, publications and data-analysis in the governance triangle Public – Private – Civic Society, we collect our findings related to the question:  What are the needs and the perceived risks (short and long term) emerging from the crisis on this moment?

Top most mentioned needs by local public leaders, city managers, workers and advisors:

  • Financial resources to act.
  • Tools for personal protection of leaders, care takers and citizens.
  • In need for implementation of (working) online platforms.
  • Proper communication and transparancy protocols for employees and citizens.
  • Taking care for crisis managers (fitness and health).
  • Continuity of human resource management, psychological support of own employees.
  • Contract cooperation with suppliers and advisors will drift: how?
  • Knowledge and skills related to proper crisis management among public leaders.
  • City public space management (maintenance, projects, water).
  • Security and guarding buildings and area’s (theatres, musea and sport facilities).
  • Finding the match between crisis (dictatorship construct) and regular processes (democracy construct): what is crisis related what regular related?

Top most mentioned short term risks by local public leaders, city managers, workers and advisors (10th of May):

  • Discontinuity of regular business processes (business continuity).
  • Shortage of food and care for citizens.
  • Possible discontinuity of energy supplies.
  • Cyber breach of organisation.
  • Lack of resilience to other calamities.
  • Critical infrastructure by delay of maintenance in projects.
  • Economic effects on existing companies and contracts with suppliers.
  • Rocketing unemployment.
  • Financial position of government (debts and solvability).
  • Hyper and spiral inflation.
  • Heavy delay of critical policy plans (poverty, cyber, climate, circular economy, energy transition) by slowing political process.
  • Possible social chaos by not under control scenario COVID-19.

Last update: 1 July 2020.

Climate and the Stimulus Package

Climate and the $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

Lisa Friedman

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday afternoon on a $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the provisions are a mixed bag for climate change. The measure does not include $3 billion for the government to buy oil and fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a provision sought by Republicans and President Trump. But it also does not have an extension of federal tax credits for wind and solar energy that Democrats had tried to attach. Read more

Emissions: Limit global warming

Emissions: four times the work or one-third of the time to comply with the Paris Agreement

New synthesis shows what a wasted decade means for the climate pact made in Paris. New research  shows that nations must now do much more and much faster to limit global warming to well below 2 °C, let alone 1.5 °C, as agreed in Paris.

A decade of insufficient political action on climate change means that nations must now do four times the work — or do the same in one-third of the time — to comply with the climate pact they made in Paris, argue Niklas Höhne and colleagues of different institutes, including Michel den Elzen (PBL) in a Comment piece in this week’s Nature. The authors’ conclusions are based on a synthesis of all ten editions of the Emissions Gap Report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Each year for the past ten years, this report has examined the difference (the ‘gap’) between what countries have pledged to do individually to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and what they need to do collectively to meet agreed temperature goals. Read more

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