Friday, May 23, 2014

Lloyd’s US chief on board with climate change

Don Jergler in Insurance Journal: Despite risking offense to non-believers, Hank Watkins didn’t hesitate when he was asked if climate change was upon us. Watkins, president of Lloyd’s America, talked about an extensive report Lloyd’s of London just released, “Catastrophe Modeling and Climate Change.”

 “Everybody that produced this report on our behalf is in agreement that climate change is here,” he said. “I’d say the majority of them also suggested that man has certainly had a hand in that. We’re not suggesting that it’s happened over time, and there’s no cause and effect.”

The stance that the world’s oldest insurance firm is taking may not be too far out in the limb, because Lloyd’s headquarters is in the United Kingdom, a region of the world where the nation and its European neighbors seem have embraced the concept of climate change more so than other industrialized countries.

It’s one in a line of several reports and actions on climate change. Earlier this month the White House’s National Climate Assessment report was released as part of President Barack Obama’s effort to prepare the nation for the impacts of a changing climate now and in the future.

That report, which was guided by a 60-member federal advisory committee and was reviewed by experts, federal agencies and the National Academy of Sciences, was attacked by some as a political move timed so that Obama could renew his call for a national energy tax.

Farmers Insurance in April filed nine class actions against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area arguing that local governments should have known rising global temperatures would lead to heavier rains and did not do enough to fortify their sewers and stormwater drains....

A storm drain in use, image by Robert Lawton, Wiukimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.5 license

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