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Insurance access and supportive regulation essential for climate resilience

last modified Jul 17, 2015 06:27 PM
14 July 2015 – New report highlights the essential role of insurance to support resilience and sustainable development in the face of growing climate risks.

New report: 'Insurance regulation for sustainable development: Protecting human rights against climate risks and natural hazards'

Risk-based insurance systems enabled by supportive regulation are fundamental in protecting communities from climate risks, according to a new report launched today, authored by Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Fellow Dr Ana Gonzalez Palaez and Dr Sebastian von Dahlen, Chairman G-AWG, International Association of Insurance Supervisors.

Following the G7’s commitments to reach 400 million people vulnerable to climate risk by 2020, the report offers a practical pathway to move from pledges to action, with case studies from Africa and Asia.

Dr Gonzalez Palaez will present key findings and recommendations at the United Nations Third Financing for Development Conference this week in Addis Ababa to an audience of finance and development ministers, international institutions and private sector leaders, at a session entitled “Risk and Resilience: Financing for Development in a Volatile and Uncertain World”.

This launch follows the publication of a short policy brief on the same topic presented in June at the International Insurance Summit, which was opened by Ban Ki Moon at the United Nations in New York.

In particular, the report advocates that access to insurance, via its relevant regulation, must be explicit in the commitments of Financing for Development post-2015.

Dr Ana Gonzalez Pelaez comments, 'Insurance should receive higher emphasis to ensure delivery on various policy commitments across the Post 2015 agenda. Our research shows that the protection of human rights and preservation of community capital from climate risk via insurance regulation are aligned and mutually reinforcing. This has profound implications for policy makers seeking effective and practical solutions to these urgent and complex challenges.' 

Read the report: Insurance regulation for sustainable development: Protecting human rights against climate risks and natural hazards.

Read Dr Gonzalez Pelaez's article: Effective regulation for mutual and co-operative insurers can help protect human rights against natural hazards.

This latest report complements the work of ClimateWise, convened by CISL, which exists to be the global insurance industry’s leadership group to drive action on climate change risk; and contributes to CISL’s Rewiring the Economy plan. 

Rewiring the Economy presents ten interconnected tasks for government, finance and business leaders over the next ten years to lay the foundations for a sustainable economy and deliver against the forthcoming UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This work contributes in particular to:

Task 3: Drive socially useful innovation

Governments can create drivers and incentives for innovation aligned with core sustainability goals, for example harnessing regulation and other policy levers to create public 'goods'. 

Task 6: Innovate financial structures to better serve sustainable business

Financial institutions can apply their influence and creativity to support business models that address society's essential needs.

Lead authors

Dr Ana Gonzalez Pelaez, Fellow, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Dr Sebastian von Dahlen, Chairman G-AWG, International Association of Insurance Supervisors, Basel, Switzerland.

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