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Insurers partner with Prince of Wales to tackle climate change

Climate action: Prince Charles, left, speaks to staff, during a visit to Lloyd's, to host the first in-person Insurance Task Force as part of his Sustainable Markets Initiative and to visit the underwriting room to meet with underwriters, brokers and members of the Lloyd's market, in London (Kirsty O'Connor/Pool Photo via AP)

Some of the biggest insurers and reinsurers are spearheading an insurance industry drive to tackle climate change, which is being done in partnership with the Prince of Wales.

The Sustainable Markets Initiative Insurance Task Force was launched at Lloyd’s of London yesterday by Prince Charles.

The group has been convened by the prince, and he visited Lloyd’s as the task force published its statement of intent.

It is chaired by Lloyd’s and is comprised of 17 chief executive officers from some of the largest insurance and reinsurance companies, including Hiscox’s Bronek Masojada, Conduit Re’s Neil Eckert, AIG’s Peter Zaffino, and Ascot’s Andrew Brooks.

Other companies who are members of the task force are Allianz, Amwins, Aon, Axa, Beazley, Direct Line Group, Howden Group, Legal & General, Marsh McLennan, Munich Re, Phoenix, and Tokio Marine Kiln.

The initiative aims to provide “an influential platform for the sector to collectively advance the world’s progress towards a resilient, net-zero economy”.

Lloyd’s said the global insurance industry had a unique view of the climate crisis, through decades of providing support to communities, businesses and economies, and it has a critical role to play.

Alongside mitigating and managing the impact of these disasters, the industry continues to provide financial support across multiple industries to build greater climate resilience, supporting the increased scale and speed of the transition.

The SMI Insurance Task Force's statement of intent is an commitment “to provide climate positive financing and risk management solutions to support and encourage individuals and businesses around the world to accelerate their transition to a sustainable future”.

The Lloyd’s Lutine Bell was rung twice during the visit by the Prince of Wales to mark “the new and significant global insurance industry commitment to drive climate positive action at pace, through a number of key initiatives”.

Actions are to include adapting and expanding coverage for offshore wind projects, alongside the implementation of “build back better” claims clauses in home insurance policies to encourage customers to rebuild sustainably.

The SMI Insurance Task Force will also work with governments to establish a public-private disaster resilience, response and recovery framework, which will help protect developing nations from the evolving economic and societal impacts of climate change.

In addition, to support the rapid growth of green projects and innovation, the task force will develop a framework to help unlock more than $30 trillion in assets under management, increasingly directing capital towards investments that drive climate-positive outcomes in developed and developing countries.

The Prince of Wales said: “The insurance industry is exceptionally well placed to understand the impact of climate change and the damage it can cause to us all if we don’t take action now. This is why I am so pleased that a large number of the world’s leading insurance companies have joined together to identify how the insurance industry can help put nature, people and the planet at the heart of our entire economy.”

Bruce Carnegie-Brown, chairman of Lloyd’s, said: “As the world begins to recover from a pandemic that has caused significant and far-reaching financial and societal challenges, it does so with an opportunity to build back with sustainability as a foundation and guiding principle. Although climate change poses unprecedented systemic risk, it is one which – through partnership and accelerated action – we have the means to address. As a task force, we are making a resolute commitment to be a catalyst for action to help create a more sustainable future through the risks we manage and the capital we invest.”

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Published June 25, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated June 25, 2021 at 8:12 am)

Insurers partner with Prince of Wales to tackle climate change

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