Action on climate change gears up

As the economic impact on nations and cities intensifies, leaders are meeting this week in New York to address climate change and ways to mitigate its effects.

Countries in South Asia could lose almost a quarter of their gross domestic product annually if they fail to fight climate change. To make matters worse countries with high exposure to natural disaster risk could be hit with the double whammy of lowered credit ratings, unless they are able to put solid risk management and risk financing plans in place.

As world leaders gather in New York to address climate change this week, it seems that the threat to the economy might do more to spur action than melting ice caps, decline in species and rising CO2 emissions have so far been able to do.

Tackling climate change without limiting growth

"I'm convinced we can tackle climate change without compromising world prosperity," Swiss Re CEO Michel Liès

Swiss Re regards climate change as one of the biggest and costliest threats to our future, seeping into almost every area of our lives, including weather, city planning, energy supply, food production, health, business, conflict and migration. Because of this, we put a lot of effort into assessing the risks of the future and thinking of ways to lower them.

We work on smart risk financing solutions for low-income countries and communities, to allow them to speed up recovery and drive growth. We look for ways to facilitate infrastructure investment to support climate resilient energy development and city planning. Evidence suggests that every dollar spent on disaster risk reduction has a ten-to-one cost benefit ratio, and our own studies show that we can avert up to 65% of climate risks using cost effective measures.

Group CEO Michel Liès says; "I'm convinced we can tackle climate change without compromising world prosperity. To do so we have to invest in growth that is inclusive, resilient and climate friendly. In our role as insurer and investor, we must confront climate risks head on and seek ways to advance the low carbon economy."

Addressing the issues face-to-face

Swiss Re will be contributing actively to the debate and highlighting solutions in several of the climate related events taking place in New York this week including Climate Week (livestream) and the RE:100 initiative; the UN Climate Summit; and the Clinton Global Initiative, reporting progress on the 100 Resilient Cities commitment.

Follow us in the course of the week, and please contribute your views and ideas on Open Minds or in our Urban Resilience section.

Climate change begins at home – a selection of Swiss Re's engagements:

The Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities
Initiatives 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change
Global Commission on Economy and Climate
Solutions African Risk Capacity
Pacific Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance

Administracion Nacional de Usinas y
Transmisiones Electricas (Urugray energy risk transfer project)

Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility

Published 22 September 2014

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