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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


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, Harriet James, SVP, Head of Sustainability, RenaissanceRe.

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.”



Harriet James

SVP, Head of Sustainability Strategy, RenaissanceRe 

“As Chair of the ClimateWise Managing Committee, I look forward to continuing to work alongside the membership to mobilise collective action across the industry. We have an opportunity, and responsibility, to develop innovative solutions that promote climate resilience, reduce the protection gap and prevent ecosystem collapse. By gathering leaders across the insurance sector, we can effect change on a global scale and reduce the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities around the world.”


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.”


Charlotte Clark

Director of Regulation, Association of British Insurers (ABI)

“The ABI is committed to leading the insurance and long-term savings sectors efforts to tackle climate change, through our Climate Change Roadmap. We have a unique role to play, as our sector can combine our investment capacity, risk management expertise and interaction with customers to drive change across the economy. I am proud to join the Advisory Council and continue the ABI’s longstanding involvement in ClimateWise. Collaboration by ClimateWise members can de-risk the technology and infrastructure innovations needed to reach Net Zero, while also ensuring households and businesses can manage the risks that come alongside change at this pace and scale.” 


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, WTW

“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.”


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.” 


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.”