Government’s climate initiative supported by business leaders
Bermuda’s business and community leaders have lauded the Bermuda Government’s climate initiative for emphasising environmental responsibility while also encouraging sustainable, equitable growth.
In a statement issued through the Bermuda Business Development Agency on Earth Day, they said the efforts aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement and consist of four major elements that include: reducing the country’s carbon footprint; protecting the country’s fragile ecosystem by improving conditions on both land and sea; increasing adaptability and resilience; and investing in climate-focused efforts, such as playing a leading role in climate risk finance.
“This forward-looking initiative cements the country’s place at the nexus of innovative global environmental and financial services initiatives,” the statement said. “Indeed, Bermuda enjoys a rare perspective on climate-related efforts, as the country is a critical habitat for marine biodiversity while also serving as a key player on the global stage of financial risk management.”
The BDA has announced its efforts to establish and promote the jurisdiction as the world’s climate risk finance capital.
Roland Andy Burrows, chief executive officer of the BDA, said: “This thoughtful, wide-ranging work provides opportunities across the spectrum and illustrates why Bermuda stands proudly at the forefront of commercial trends. It illustrates the innovation that has made us one of the world’s most important insurance and reinsurance hubs.”
Stephen Weinstein, chairman of the BDA, said: “As we expand our global reinsurance leadership into climate risk finance, we can play a key role helping to address one of the largest challenges of our time. By reaffirming Bermuda’s commitment to this existential issue, the effort also highlights our global relevance and appeal to investors, businesses, and capital allocators.”
Others who commented on the Government’s initiative included John Huff, CEO of the Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers. He said: “Abir member companies fully support the government's initiatives on climate change including reducing the country’s carbon footprint; protecting Bermuda’s fragile ecosystem, increasing adaptability and resilience; and, in particular, investing in climate-focused efforts by further developing Bermuda’s role in climate risk finance.
“Partnering with the government, our internationally recognised, consolidated regulator the Bermuda Monetary Authority, and Bermuda’s leading insurers and reinsurers, Bermuda has the foundational elements to become the global leader in climate risk finance. We look forward to leveraging Abir member companies best-in-class expertise in climate change, modelling and analytics to build on this logical extension of Bermuda’s legacy strength in natural catastrophe risk management.”
Patrick Tannock, chairman of the Association of Bermuda International Companies, and CEO of Axa XL’s Bermuda insurance operations, said: “Abic is encouraged by the Government’s commitment to mitigate the impact of climate change. Bermuda has a real opportunity to rebrand and become a thought leader in climate change, and to reposition itself as the climate risk finance capital of the world. The space is adjacent to catastrophe risk management, a space where Bermuda is currently the global leader and our companies have a deep talent pool and a wide range of portable talent.
“It would be very well-received globally if Bermuda-based international companies could help to finance US, European Union, and global climate risk tangible initiatives to support investments, sustainability, and resilience. Aspiring to be the climate risk financing capital of the world could also lead to a new revenue stream and the creation of local jobs. If we do it right and adopt a holistic approach, this could be something the whole island supports.”
Grainne Richmond, president of the Bermuda Insurance Management Association, said: “Bima and its members welcome the recent statements from the Bermuda Government, the BMA and the BDA on their commitment to increasing the protection of our ecosystem, reducing our carbon footprint and mitigating the impact of climate change.
“We fully support Bermuda in this very important and timely initiative towards climate resilience. Not only is this important to our stakeholders, our companies and our employees, but more importantly the protection of a sustainable living environment for future generations and Bermuda as a whole.
Karla Lacey, CEO of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, said: “The Government’s climate vision for Bermuda represents an invaluable opportunity to engage and prepare today’s youth for the world they’ll soon be responsible for, and calls for a united effort among stakeholders to realise its full potential. BUEI supports this vision and our commitment to providing inclusive, accessible programmes that nurture the next generation of environmental advocates, educators, and leaders remains an organisational priority.”
Dr William Curry, president and CEO of Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, said: “BIOS continually works with island-based groups to provide any needed scientific advice on marine and atmospheric issues. In Bermuda, there’s a natural alliance between the interests of reinsurers and other private sector leaders and BIOS’ scientific expertise, or the expertise it has access to globally, in order to provide them with a realistic understanding of relevant risks.”