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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

November 2021 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) launches a call to action at COP 26 finance day urging policymakers, financial regulators and industry to expand risk sharing systems at scale to tackle the Climate Emergency.

Read the report


Throughout history, individuals have come together to protect what they value and stabilise their futures by sharing risks through collective pools of resources. Modern risk-sharing systems include social protection, informal community networks and the insurance industry. Each has crucial roles that can be applied to the climate crisis. These systems together cover approximately one third of global GDP. However, their distribution is uneven and where they do exist, the response allocated to climate risks is minimal.

CISL’s new report, Risk Sharing in the Climate Emergency: Financial regulation for a resilient, net zero, just transition, launched in Glasgow on COP26 Finance Day, highlights five key areas of action for policymakers, private and public financial authorities and the finance sector, which if implemented will enable a radical global transformation to protect lives and livelihoods, now and in the decades ahead.. 

The report calls on key economic, policy, industry and advocacy actors to support a just, resilient net zero transition in the following ways:

  • Policymakers - reinforce financial inclusion and sustainable development priorities within insurance regulators’ mandates to meet the climate objectives; 
  • Financial markets beyond insurance - accelerate consistent physical climate risk quantification through insurance experience, methods, metrics and resources; 
  • Public and private financial authorities - massively expand risk-sharing pools across financial systems to manage global-to-local and intergenerational climate risks; 
  • Insurance regulators and climate authorities - explore ways for UNFCCC and IAIS members to co-operate on shared climate risk objectives; 
  • Insurance sector - become pioneers of climate-related disclosures, prudential supervision and climate stewardship; 

Academia and NGOs - research the role of the insurance system in managing the social risks of the net zero transition. 

Insurance-related initiatives

Also available is a table outlining a series of climate-related insurance initiatives gathered throughout the process of writing the report Risk Sharing in the Climate Emergency. We are very thankful to our Advisory Board for the input provided and to Clyde&Co’s team, led by Nigel Brook and Zaneta Sedilekova, for producing the compilation. 

Download the table

Last updated February 2022, this list is not definite nor complete. We welcome further inputs for a future update (please email  

The criteria are: 

a)    Initiatives from all geographies (listed in alphabetical order). 
b)    Initiatives from national and international organisations, as well as public-private partnerships.
c)    No single private company initiatives."


Writing in the foreword to the report, Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance said:

"In the face of the unfolding climate emergency, this report provides a timely and valuable overview of the lessons we can already draw from the global insurance system - across public, private and mutual sectors - and the opportunities for that system to help increase our systemic resilience to the worst effects of climate change." 

Citing the report

University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL, 2021). Risk Sharing in the Climate Emergency: Financial regulation for a resilient, net zero, just transition. 


Published: November 2021

Achieving Zero hub

Authors and acknowledgements

Lead author: Dr Ana Gonzalez Pelaez, Fellow, CISL 

Co-authors: Geoff Summerhayes, Executive Board Member, APRA (2016–20) and Chair Sustainable Insurance Forum (2018–20), Nigel Brook, Senior Equity Partner, Clyde & Co. 


Copyright © 2021 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Some rights reserved.


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL or The University of Cambridge.