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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

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The ClimateWise Insurance Advisory Council is a group of C-suite executives drawn from across ClimateWise’s global membership base. They commission impact research into ways the insurance industry can support the zero carbon, climate-resilient transition.

Insurance is among the industries most affected by climate change due to what it insures and invests in. Consequently, insurers are keen to mitigate the risks of climate change. While many organisations have worked voluntarily, both individually and in leadership groups, a more co-ordinated response is required across the financial system. This requires a combination of industry leadership supported by cutting-edge research and analysis.

The Council’s purpose is therefore to draw on the University of Cambridge and its partners’ expertise to help strengthen the industry's response and inform regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders on how to promote more systematic responses to climate change across the financial system.

The Council was established in 2016 and is currently led by chair Kevin O’Donnell, President and CEO, RenaissanceRe, with deputy chair John Scott, Head of Sustainability Risk, The Zurich Insurance group, and chair of the managing committee Lucy Stanbrough, Head of Emerging Risk Research, Willis Research Network.


For queries relating to the Council, please contact us.

 

Council members


 

Kevin O’Donnell

Kevin O’Donnell

President and CEO, RenaissanceRe

“Climate change is one of the most complex challenges faced by the world and our business. The insurance and reinsurance industry plays an important role in managing climate risk while helping facilitate the transition to a lower carbon economy. Through ClimateWise, leaders across the industry can collaborate to strengthen our collective response to this important issue.”


 

John Scott

Head of Sustainability Risk, The Zurich Insurance group

“Our commitment to the Climatewise Insurance Advisory Council, the UN Global Compact Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5°C and as a founder member of the UN-convened Net Zero Insurance Alliance and Asset Owners Alliance, is to help policymakers fully understand the nature of climate change risks and identify opportunities to support system-wide responses to climate change.”

 


 

Lucy Stanbrough

Lucy Stanbrough

Head of Emerging Risk Research, Willis Research Network

“As Chair of the ClimateWise Managing Committee, I am delighted to support the membership in exploring shared challenges amongst peers for the benefit of a more resilient society. The transition towards a low-carbon economy is essential to tackle systemic risk, and the access to scientific insights and connections with academics and regulators that ClimateWise  provides, creates a unique opportunity for the industry to collaborate on interconnected challenges. ”


 

Catlin  StephenStephen Catlin

Chairman and CEO, Convex

“I hope my other roles as Chairman-elect of the International Insurance Society (IIS) and Chairman of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) benefit the work of the Council as I can co-ordinate and align all organisations. I believe there is an urgent need to address the current misalignment between the need for sustainable investment activities, on the one hand, and a limiting regulatory environment on the other.”


 

Mandy Dennison

Vice President, Global Social Impact & ESG, Intact Financial Corporation

“RSA and Intact have been on the frontlines of climate change with our customers, helping them to recover from the impacts of extreme weather. We’re committed to using our strengths, expertise, and scale to help build resilient communities and support our partners and customers transition towards a sustainable future.”


 

Rowan DouglasRowan Douglas CBE

CEO for Capital, Science and Policy Practice, Willis Towers Watson

“There is growing recognition of the critical role that insurance and its related capabilities play: from science and modelling, to disaster reduction and humanitarian responses, to building national and community resilience. A particular opportunity is to help regulators and other authorities from outside re/insurance learn about the hard-won lessons, and the approach towards disclosure and risk management that our sector has developed over the last two decades, to see how this might be applied more widely.”


 

Alex HindsonAlex Hindson

Chief Risk and Sustainability Officer, Argo Group

“ArgoGlobal has determined that climate change is a key enterprise risk. We will therefore benefit from access to the Council to understand the direction and trends on climate governance in the insurance industry.”

 


 

Colm HolmesColm Holmes

CEO, Allianz UK

“Our purpose, 'we secure your future' means that sustainability is a priority for Allianz and we’re shaping change by working with others to find solutions for a sustainable future. We’re committed to limiting the impact of our business operations as well as providing products and services which will enable a transition to a low-carbon future for our employees and customers.”


 

Sean McGovernSean McGovern

General Counsel, AXA XL

“At AXA XL we are committed to advancing knowledge of climate change, so that we can play our part in helping the world to become more resilient. I’m proud to be part of the ClimateWise Advisory Council, enabling our industry to come together to better tackle the impacts of such critical risks to our communities.” 


 

James MillardJames Millard

Chief Investment Officer at Hiscox Group and ESG Executive Sponsor

“Discussion of climate-related risk is rightly rising to the top of both the business and media agenda, and insurance has a tangible and practical role to play in the debate.  The industry expertise that the Insurance Advisory Council brings together will boost our collective thinking and response, and as someone who has worked on ESG in the investment space for some time and is passionate about driving positive change, I am delighted to be involved.”


 

Rupert Moore

Rupert Moore

CEO, Aon Reinsurance Solutions, UK

“We have a huge opportunity as the insurance industry to bring capital, analytics and resources to accelerate the world’s race to net zero. I’m excited to join this powerful organisation to help drive the impact and build private-public relationships that will create global resilience.”


 

John Neal

CEO, Lloyd’s 

“As a market that supports millions of customers and communities around the world, and with a unique understanding of the impacts of climate change and the transition risk across multiple-sectors and geographies, Lloyd’s has an important role to play in driving action towards a sustainable future. The time to act is now, and I am proud to join the ClimateWise Insurance Advisory Council as we work together to accelerate progress towards a more resilient, net-zero economy.”


 

Jason Richards

Jason Richards

Country President and CEO UK & Ireland, Swiss Re

"The climate crisis is here. We simply must take action on the biggest threat confronting humanity. We need to work together as insurers and reinsurers and with all parties in the value chain, we need to share experiences, best practices and our risk knowledge. ClimateWise plays an important role here and I am delighted to have recently joined the Advisory Council"


 

Martyn RoddenMartyn Rodden

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, MS Amlin.

“The effects of climate change are increasingly evident, as is the need for the (re)insurance industry to play a leadership role in understanding the risks, promoting the response and increasing the world’s resilience to climate change. MS Amlin values the opportunity to collaborate with other industry practitioners to support the ClimateWise agenda.”


 

Vivek SyalVivek Syal

Group Chief Risk Officer, Tokio Marine Kiln Group Limited

“The combination of increased attention on climate change and the leadership / influence of the collective insurance sector provides a unique opportunity for us all to both protect our planet and transform the lives of those most vulnerable to its rising challenge. The ClimateWise Advisory Council provides a pathway for us to come together to make this a reality to support a cause that I am passionate about and carry out with utmost care and attention.”


 

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

Director of Communications and Advocacy, Association of British Insurers (ABI)

“There are few sectors that have as many levers to pull in the fight against climate change as the insurance industry. Whether that is as institutional investors, risk managers, through our supply chains or in helping society adapt. The ABI is proud to have been a founding member of ClimateWise and through the Advisory Council and our recent climate change roadmap, we are determined to play our part in galvanising the sector as we enter a crunch point for our planet.”


 

Adam Winslow

CEO UK & Ireland General Insurance, Aviva

“Climate change is no longer a distant threat, and it is one that will impact right across our industry, from the increasing frequency and severity of weather events for properties we insure, to the requirement to underwrite the innovative technologies that are driving the green transition. Aviva is at the forefront of these changes and has also set the most ambitious targets for achieving a Net Zero position, and I hope that through working with ClimateWise we can accelerate the changes needed across the industry, the economy and society as a whole.”