Exploring how the insurance industry can proactively respond to widening climate risk.
ClimateWise’s action research collaborations bring together member and specialist expertise, to help identify and develop commercial solutions to many of the challenges faced by the zero carbon, climate-resilient transition.
The Societal Resilience Programme
The Societal Resilience Programme explores how to manage the climate-risk protection gap – the growing divide between societal exposure to climate risk versus an overall decline in the penetration of commercial insurance. By leveraging the industry’s full value chain right across its underwriting and investment activities, the objective is to guide the industry’s own response to the zero-carbon, climate-resilient transition. The Programme also helps to understand how insurance can support other parts of the financial system and society in their response to climate risk.
Three distinct, yet interconnected research pillars underpin the Societal Resilience Programme. These focus on resilient investing, resilient cities and resilient regulation. Current projects include understanding how insurers’ asset management activities can help to manage risk on the underwriting side of their business, how the industry can actively support climate-resilience across global cities, and how insurance can become more proactive in extending cover to emerging markets by focusing on resilience.
Investing for Resilience
Investing for resilience explores how the insurance industry can start to manage its invested assets in ways that can also reduce risk on the underwriting side of its business. It actively explores what the commercial opportunities for such strategies might be, what tools and standards are required and where the industry can collaborate, with other stakeholders, to further this agenda.
The insurance industry has extensive capabilities that can help to enhance climate-risk resilience at the local level, in particular in its most concentrated and exposed markets (i.e. cities). The focus is on supporting urban resilience in both developing and developed economies with a particular focus on infrastructure. In particular, Urban Resilience seeks to understand which parts of the insurance industry’s value chain could support cities to make better infrastructure and development decisions and create commercial opportunities for insurance in the process. This includes use of the industry’s data, leveraging its investment potential and increasing influence over a wider cross-section of stakeholders.
Drawing on the insurance industry’s unique understanding of risk, resilient regulation seeks to ensure that global regulators fully understand the nature of the physical, transition and liability risks climate change present insurance and how the industry can be empowered to support other parts of the financial system as it responds to the zero-carbon, climate-resilient transition. This area is guided by the ClimateWise Insurance Advisory Council, a senior-level council established to provide direct support and guidance to ClimateWise’s ongoing collaboration with global regulators.
Over the course of 2015, ClimateWise collaborated with the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to help inform its study into the likely impacts of climate change for the insurance sector: the first example of a regulator globally examining such risks. The three roundtables ClimateWise facilitated brought together representatives from the PRA together with insurance industry stakeholders, academics and other specialists to actively explore the nature of the physical, transition and liability risks the report focused on.
This report analyses the role of insurance regulation in protecting the basic human rights of life, livelihood and shelter against natural hazards and climate risk. Effective insurance regulation facilitates access to insurance (both traditional and alternative) as a means to increase communities’ resilience, fulfil related human rights duties of state and non-state actors and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
External knowledge, tools and standards
ClimateWise also participates and represents its members on a number of other external research projects and workstreams that help to develop the knowledge, tools & standards needed to support the industry take a more pro-active response to the zero-carbon, climate-resilient transition.
Past action research