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National risk report finds 'economic scarring' and 'multipolar world' among top concerns

Some of the new risks identified in this year’s report were ‘economic scarring, digital exclusion, and the rise of a multi-polar world’.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS published the National Risk Assessment for 2021/2022 – setting out the most significant geopolitical, economic, social, environmental and technological risks facing the country.

Some of the new risks identified in this year’s report were “economic scarring, digital exclusion, and the rise of a multipolar world”.

Under economic risks to the country, the report noted the possibility of labour shortages, supply chain and capacity constraints, changes to international trading relationships and disruption to a secure and sustainable energy supply. 

The “rise of a multipolar world,” refers to the risks associated with the future direction of the European Union, Ireland’s post-Brexit relationship with the UK, armed conflict, terrorism and hybrid threats. 

Meanwhile, the combination of the pandemic, Brexit and supply chain constraints has intensified existing risks including skills shortages and the supply and affordability of housing. 

The aim of the assessment is to identify significant risks facing the country — and then produce a report to form the basis of a detailed risk management plan for departments and agencies.

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“By any measure, the experience of the past number of years has really brought home the importance of work in the area of risk management and preparedness,” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin, speaking on the launch of the report.

Nowhere is this more clear than the Covid-19 pandemic, Martin said, adding that “we also need to maintain focus on the range of other existing and emerging risks,” including climate change, employment, housing and capacity challenges. 

More than 50 submissions were received as part of a public consultation for the report, with climate change, biodiversity loss and social and economic inequality coming out as some of the top concerns. 

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