FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IPCC report confirms what insurance industry already knows:
Effective adaption measures key to improve society’s resilience to extreme weather & climate change, insurance industry has an important role to play
In the wake of a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on extreme weather and climate change, Ceres and insurance industry executives today released statements on the report’s findings and the growing impacts of extreme weather on their businesses and actions that are needed to respond if climate trends continue.
Ceres: "Today's report is a wake-up call. It's a chilling reminder that record droughts, heat waves and rain events we've been experiencing in the US are not random anomalies," said Ceres president Mindy Lubber. "US property and casualty insurers, who are on the front line on this issue, saw catastrophe-related losses double in '11 while their net income was cut in half. If we continue on this climate-warming trend - as the IPCC report strongly suggests we will –extreme weather is certain to cause more homes and businesses to be uninsurable in the private insurance market. That hits all our pocketbooks because if private insurance won’t cover these homes and businesses, other policyholders and taxpayers will."
Swiss Re: "The IPCC report is yet another reminder of the pressing need to tackle climate risk in both the near and long term," said Mark Way, head sustainability Americas at Swiss Re. "Last year in the United States, even with the absence of major hurricane impacts, the insurance industry paid out approximately $35 billion in losses due to weather related events. Severe weather will continue to impact the economy, and society in general, until we take the necessary measures to increase our resilience."
Zurich: “The impacts of severe weather events are increasing and the IPCC report affirms that this trend is unlikely to abate, pointing to the necessity for taking adaptive actions to preserve economic vitality and community,” said Lindene Patton, Zurich’s Chief Climate Product Officer. “Business executives, municipal managers and individuals alike must take action to improve their preparedness and resilience to the impacts of climate change. New decision support tools enable effective comparison of adaptation tools that can significantly improve society's resilience to climate risk. Insurance is one of the tools if properly deployed that can smooth the transition to a more climate resilient state.”
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $10 trillion. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and www.incr.com.