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Time names top 10 global risks for 2024

Time names top 10 global risks for 2024 Global risks word to face in 2024 (Photo: Getty Images)

In 2023, the world's main events focused on two wars - in Europe, Russia against Ukraine, and the Middle East - Israel and Hamas. Additionally, some factors pose significant risks to the world in 2024, writes Time.

Risks for the World in 2024, according to the article, include:

U.S. internal strife

Although the U.S. military and economy remain exceptionally strong, the political system in the United States is more inefficient than any other developed industrial democracy. In 2024, the problem will worsen, with presidential elections deepening political divisions, testing American democracy to an extent not felt in 150 years, and undermining the U.S. authority internationally. Given the close nature of the election results (at least at this time), the only certainty is that it will harm America's social structure, political institutions, and international standing.

In a world engulfed in crisis, the prospect of Trump's victory would weaken America's position on the global stage, as Republican legislators would adopt his foreign policy positions and allies and adversaries of the U.S. would be wary of his potential policies.

Middle East on the brink

In 2024, hostilities in the Gaza Strip will escalate, potentially leading to a wider regional war involving the U.S. and Iran. The conflict poses risks to the global economy, intensifies geopolitical and political divergences, and fuels global extremism. The most direct escalation path will be if Israel or Hezbollah decides to attack each other. Israel's top leaders have pledged to "eliminate" the threat from Hezbollah.

If Israel were to preemptively attack, U.S. military support would likely be provided, and Iran would support Hezbollah, its key regional proxy.

Houthi rebels are also escalating, and Shiite militias operating in Iraq and Syria, with Tehran's blessing, have increased attacks on U.S. bases.

While no participating country in the Gaza conflict wants a regional conflagration, the powder keg is already dry, and the number of players with matches increases the risk of conflict escalation.


Russia's invasion of Ukraine remains a historical failure. NATO is strengthening with new members - Finland and Sweden. The EU has initiated the membership process for Ukraine, and Russia has faced 11 rounds of sanctions, with more on the way, and half of its sovereign assets frozen, likely to be used for Ukraine's reconstruction. Europe no longer buys Russian energy.

However, in 2024, Ukraine is de facto divided, and Russia now has the initiative on the battlefield and material advantage. This year is a turning point in the war, and if Ukraine does not address personnel issues, increase weapons production, and develop a realistic military strategy soon, its territorial losses may become permanent and may expand.

Ukraine desperately needs additional troops, says the article. For these reasons, Kyiv may take greater military risks this year, including strikes on more targets inside Russia, triggering an unprecedented Russian reaction and potentially drawing NATO into the conflict.

Uncontrolled AI

In 2024, technologies will surpass the governance of AI as regulatory efforts weaken. Technological companies, as before, are practically unrestricted, and much more powerful AI models and tools are emerging beyond the control of governments.

Axis of rogues (and America’s dangerous friends)

In 2024, Russia, North Korea, and Iran will strengthen each other's potential and act in increasingly coordinated and destructive ways on the global stage. Meanwhile, even friends of Washington - leaders of Ukraine, Israel, and potentially Taiwan - will involve the U.S. in a confrontation they want to avoid.

Weakening of China

In the absence of an unlikely weakening of President Xi Jinping's power or a radical shift towards large-scale consumer stimulus and structural reforms, China's economy will be weak throughout 2024. The crisis of social trust will reveal gaps in the leadership capabilities of the Communist Party of China and increase the risk of social instability.

Struggle for vital resources

Critically important natural resources will become the most crucial component in virtually every sector driving growth, innovation, and national security in the 21st century: from clean energy to advanced computing, biotechnology, transportation, and defense.

In 2024, governments worldwide will intensify their industrial policies and trade restrictions, disrupting the flow of the most critical natural resources.

Inflationary shock

The global inflationary shock that began in 2021 will continue to exert economic and political influence in 2024. High interest rates caused by persistent inflation will slow economic growth worldwide, and governments have limited options to stimulate growth or respond to shocks, increasing the risk of financial stress, social unrest, and political instability.

Return of El Niño

After a four-year absence, the powerful climate pattern El Niño will reach its peak in the first half of this year, leading to extreme weather events that contribute to food insecurity, worsen water shortages, disrupt logistics, spread diseases, and contribute to migration and political instability. This is especially concerning given the already weakened state due to the pandemic and shocks in energy and food prices caused by the war in Ukraine.

Risky business

Clients, employees, and investors - primarily progressive - have brought the U.S. cultural wars into corporate offices, and now courts, state legislative assemblies, governors, and conservative activist groups will strike back. Companies caught in the crossfire of political and legal battles will face greater uncertainty and costs.

Earlier, we reported that climatologists made a weather forecast for 2024.

We also discussed scientists' statements that the Earth is on the verge of five climate catastrophes.