Swiss Re's senior executive speaks at United Nations' Climate Risk Summit; states need for insurance industry to share insights on climate risks
14 February 2008, New York
Rick Murray, Managing Director at Swiss Re, provided introductory remarks at the United Nations Climate Risk Summit. Mr. Murray was the luncheon introductory speaker, in advance of featured speaker and former United States Vice President Al Gore.
Mr. Murray spoke of Swiss Re's support of the climate change issue, noting: "There is an important role for the insurance industry to share its insights into the risks of climate change. Climate change challenges our industry in myriad ways – the property coverage damage and mortality losses that arise from natural catastrophes, as well as the exposure that continues to grow as climate-related liability litigation gains momentum. The industry's deep knowledge and expertise based on its claims experience need to be shared."
The United Nations Foundation, in partnership with CERES, today hosted hundreds of Wall Street leaders and institutional investors at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations. Topics discussed by the participants included the far-reaching economic impacts of climate change, the responses of a growing number of U.S. and overseas investors, and the vast financial opportunities that energy efficiency and other technologies offer for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating economic growth.
Swiss Re, a sponsor and participant in several UN Summits including this one, has a long-standing commitment to the issue of human influence on climate risk.
In 1994, the company developed a Corporate Report on the subject that served as an enlightened statement of concern on the topic emphasizing the links with commerce and society. This prompted Swiss Re to develop a comprehensive strategy to manage the risks, seize business opportunities, advocate for emissions reductions, and reduce its own carbon footprint.
Managing Director Ivo Menzinger, who is responsible for Swiss Re's climate change activities, says: "While we need to be alert to the risks, it is encouraging to see, how the focus of the debate has moved from the downside of climate change to the opportunities associated with transitioning to a low-carbon economy."
Swiss Re is the world's leading and most diversified global reinsurer. The company operates through offices in more than 25 countries. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re offers financial services products that enable risk-taking essential to enterprise and progress. The company's traditional reinsurance products and related services for property and casualty, as well as the life and health business are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated "AA-" by Standard, Poor's, "Aa2" by Moody's and "A+" by A.M. Best.
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