Willis CEO chairs infrastructure initiative
Willis Towers Watson has teamed up with governments and international organisations to launch the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment.
The insurance broker and risk advisory firm is leading the coalition, which aims to “transform infrastructure investment by integrating climate risks into decision-making, driving a shift towards a more climate resilient economy for all countries, including the most vulnerable”.
The governments of the United Kingdom and Jamaica are partnering with Willis in the initiative, as well as the Global Commission on Adaptation and the World Economic Forum, as well as around 30 other organisations.
John Haley, the chief executive officer of Willis Towers Watson, which has operations in Bermuda, will chair the coalition.
“This new coalition realises that current efforts to adapt to physical climate risks and deliver resilience for exposed communities and assets across the globe are severely lacking and need to be addressed urgently,” Mr Haley said.
“The conditions for success are ripe, the coalition will be able to harness a unique combination of the rapid advancement of climate risk analytics coupled with ambitious regulatory and investor-led initiatives.
“Pricing the risks posed by climate change will create opportunities to build a network of resilient infrastructure in high, medium and low-income countries, enabling us to better prevent future human and financial disasters.”
Andrew Steer, CEO of the World Resources Institute, and Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation, said: “Making infrastructure resilient to climate change has been regarded for too long as a burden and a cost. In reality, it's a high return investment, yielding on average a 4-to-1 return.
“It also saves lives, reduces risks, and encourages further investment. This dynamic new coalition will help make climate risks visible, leading to better decisions and smarter investments for the future. The Global Commission on Adaptation is proud to be part of it.”
The coalition will develop a common approach to assessing climate risks, which will enable them to ensure all their investments are resilient, and will unlock additional private finance for resilient infrastructure investment.
Mark Carney, Governor of Bank of England, urged insurers to invest more of their investment portfolios in climate-resilient infrastructure in a speech at the United Nations Climate Summit this week.
He said: “Advances in reporting and risk analysis are paving the way for investors to realise the opportunities in climate-friendly investment by reorienting their focus to more sustainable long-term value creation.
“In this context, the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment's focus on integrating climate risks into decision-making will help finance the infrastructure investment needed to build an economy more resilient to climate change.”