Sunday, September 16, 2007

New insurance measures for climate change

Fair Investment Company: Today marks the launch of a major new initiative amongst the insurance industry to encourage its customers to do their bit in the challenge against climate change, the Association of British Insurers has reported.

In an attempt to raise awareness and promote action on climate change, leading global insurers, reinsurers and brokers have developed the Climate Wise principles, which will enable companies and organisations to make climate change a priority in their business operations.

The measures have been developed over nine months and through cooperation between the ABI, His Royal Highness’s Business and the Environment Programme, and Business in the Community.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, said: “The ClimateWise principles are targeted on those areas of skill and expertise within the insurance sector and are the result of nearly a year’s hard work. I hope and pray that they will be useful in encouraging both collective and individual action to tackle climate change and I do congratulate all those involved.”

The principal areas that ClimateWise intends to target include influencing the attitudes and behaviour of both business and the individual, on a global level, to practice more climate-friendly behaviour, investment strategy, and risk analysis.

Peter Hubbard, Chief Executive of AXA Insurance and Chairman of the Industry Working Group that drew up the principles, said: “The responsibility for addressing global warming rests with us all and will require co-operation and agreement amongst individuals, businesses and countries. It is this spirit of co-operation that has led us to agree the ClimateWise principles and to take the lead in raising this issue.”

Stephen Haddrill, Director General of the Association of British Insurers, added: “The insurance industry ensures we are all better equipped to deal with our changing climate. But we need to do more. The principles will enable us to do so by encouraging greater climate-friendly behaviour among our customers, through our investment strategy and risk analysis.”

Indeed, if greater measures are not taken to slow or reverse the effects of climate change, the insurance industry will be one of its victims, F&C has warned. Because of the increasingly adverse weather conditions, such as hurricanes, flooding and wildfires, a continuous rise can be seen in the number of house insurance, health and life insurance, car insurance, and liability and indemnity insurance claims.

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