Coomber named ClimateWise chairman

Swiss Re Board of Directors member John R Coomber assumes the chairmanship of ClimateWise, bringing along his reputation for leading the industry in climate change awareness.

Swiss Re Board of Directors member John R Coomber has been appointed chairman of ClimateWise, the insurance industry leadership group dedicated to working together to respond to the effects of climate change.

John R. Coomber

“We are proud to have a board member taking the topic of climate change and moving it forward,” said David Bresch, Head Sustainability and Political Risk Management at Swiss Re.

Coomber served as Swiss Re’s chief executive officer from 2003 to 2005 before retiring after over three decades at the company. He also led the way in calling climate change one of the most important issues facing the insurance industry.

During his tenure as CEO, he advanced the climate issue across the whole organization.

“Climate change cuts across all walks of life, affecting people and property, global food production and the smooth running of supply chains,” said Coomber on the occasion of his appointment. “Reducing these risks to an acceptable level is therefore in all of our interests.”

He also emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships and the role of the global community overall in addressing climate change.

Coomber took over the position from Allianz Insurance CEO Andrew Torrance on 1 October.  In addition to serving as ClimateWise chair, he is also a trustee of the non-profit organisation The Climate Group.

ClimateWise, a global insurance industry collaboration with the aim of reducing risks associated with climate change, was founded in 2006. It is a leadership group facilitated by the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

Published 3 October 2011

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