Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Call for insurers to help prevent coastal flooding

Lloyds.com: Unless action is taken to reduce global warming, losses from coastal flooding for high risk properties could double by 2030, according to the 'Coastal Communities and Climate Change' report, published today by Lloyd’s and catastrophe risk modelling firm, Risk Management Solutions (RMS). However, if adaptation measures are taken, the risk could be reduced to below current levels in the same timescale.

The report was launched at the annual reinsurance gathering, Rendez-vous de Septembre, in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Speaking at the launch, Lloyd’s Chief Executive, Dr Richard Ward, said that the threat of rising sea levels is the most important consequence of climate change facing the planet — and one of the most certain.

He said there is already evidence of a rapid rise in sea levels in many areas of the planet and that some of the world’s most famous cities are under threat. “Over a timescale of just decades, rising sea levels will pose a serious threat to coastal communities in low-lying areas,” Ward told senior managers from some of the world’s leading reinsurers. “So, who will be affected? The Stern Review on the economics of climate change remarks that under presently envisaged global climate change, 200 million people may be directly affected by sea level rise, with several major coastal cities including London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Cairo, Kolkata, Karachi, Buenos Aires, St Petersburg and New York particularly seriously affected.”…

Galveston, Texas, evacuating in advance of Hurricane Rita in 2005, FEMA, Wikimedia Commons

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