The World Economic Forum published its Global Risks report this week, outlining what its analysis suggests are the biggest risks facing global economic stability in 2013. At the top of the list is inaction on climate change, alongside disparities in income and the failure of governments to reduce their debts.
It recognises that as long as the economy alone dominates the political agenda, the risk of irreversible ecological devastation grows ever greater – which in turn, poses a huge threat to economic stability
The UK has an invaluable opportunity to show that it understands the nature of these risks as it takes over the presidency of the G8 group of nations.
For David Cameron, this is a rare chance to rise above the petty squabbles of domestic politics and demonstrate that Britain is fit to provide leadership on the big global issues.
But after a year that will be remembered for the devastation wreaked by hurricane Sandy, flooding in China and, of course, here at home, and raging wildfires in Australia, it's simply baffling – and irresponsible in the extreme – for the leader of the world's sixth-biggest economy to fail to assert his commitment to leading on climate change.
Projections suggest that 375 million people a year will be affected by climate-related disasters by 2015.