Insurers call for government backing on climate change: UNEPFI issues power sector water report

Statement calls for investment in risk research and public-private insurance partnerships.

Lobby groups representing more than 100 international insurance companies say governments should be partnering with them on research on climate change risks and backing specialist insurance contracts in the developing world where the impacts will potentially be worst. The statement, aimed at the forthcoming UN Climate Convention meeting in Mexico in December, was issued by ClimateWise – the global collaboration of insurers focused on reducing climate change risks launched in 2007 by HRH The Prince of Wales, The Geneva Association, the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).
It said governments could better protect and reduce the vulnerability of developing world populations and economies from natural disasters via investment in reliable, publicly available risk exposure data as well as further research on regional public-private partnerships and microinsurance schemes, which, it said, could reduce losses for climate risks. Achim Steiner, UN under-secretary-general and UNEP executive director,said: “Governments need to act on this opportunity and harness this reservoir of risk assessment skills. Secondly, the insurance industry needs a fighting chance of success. In other words governments need to back big cuts in emissions in line with the scientific reality.”
Separately, UNEP FI has launched issue two of its “Chief Liquidity Series” focused on the power sector. The series informs analysts, portfolio managers and sustainability experts about financial risks and emerging opportunities associated with water challenges across a range of particularly exposed sectors and hydrologically diverse geographies. Sasja Beslik, head of responsible investments and governance at Nordea, and co-chair of UNEP FI Water and Finance Working Group, said: “The report is one of the steps needed to be taken by financial community in order to value water as one of the most important resources for our existence, as well as for our investments. The report provides many useful answers and angles crucial for any investor.”
Link to UNEPFI report