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Bermuda Climate Summit will be back in 2023, say organisers

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Bermuda Business Development Agency CEO David Hart (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

The Bermuda Climate Summit 2022 really “hit it out of the ballpark”, John Huff, Association of Insurers and Reinsurers president and chief executive officer, said at the close of the two-day event.

The inaugural summit, held at the Rosewood Bermuda in Hamilton Parish this week, was organised by the Bermuda Business Development Agency in partnership with Abir and ratings agency KBRA.

“There was tons of energy, expectation and engagement,” Mr Huff said at the close of the summit. “People were really switched on. We had probably enough content for a week’s worth of conference.”

John Huff, chief executive of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers

He said there was also great international engagement and a significant number of officials from other jurisdictions in attendance.

“All eyes were on Bermuda,” Mr Huff said.

BDA CEO David Hart said: “Given the changes we’re seeing in the world, now is the perfect time to discuss climate change and how we can address it from a risk finance and resiliency perspective.”

He said there will be another summit in 2023, possibly bigger and better.

“But it will probably be held later in the year,” Mr Hart said. “If we are fortunate enough to have Abir and KBRA involved in helping us in the cockpit again, I have a sneaky hunch it will double in size, given the interest.”

During the event BDA chairman Stephen Weinstein and Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the US National Wildlife Federation, had a lunchtime conservation conversation, Arizona State University president Michael Crow gave a passionate call to action and spoke about ASU’s partnership with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, while Miqdaad Versi, head of ESG at Oxbow Partners, unveiled a BDA/Oxbow ESG Benchmarking Survey.

The gathering closed with a series of resilience round tables hosted by KBRA senior adviser Mark Baker. Michelle Bachir, senior manager, sustainability & KPI services at Deloitte, moderated a discussion about financial solutions; Yvonne Sawall, assistant scientist at BIOS, guided the physical solutions conversation; Arnaud van Dijk, deputy head, KPMG IMPACT, KPMG Islands Group, discussed climate reporting and disclosure; and Simon Young, co-head, disaster risk finance/parametrics, climate and resilience hub, Willis Towers Watson, considered policy solutions.

More than 150 people attended the conference including 70 from overseas.

Mr Hart was thrilled by the participation.

“It proves that leaders from around the globe are ready to tackle these important issues and examine collaborating with Bermuda for innovative solutions in the expanding role of climate change financial leadership,” he said.

During the conference, keynote speaker Mr O’Mara stated that the rest of the world was not having the in-depth conversations into climate risk that Bermuda was.

Summit organisers were thrilled to hear that.

“Our ears perked at that,” Mr Hart said. “We wrote that down. I thought that was a real boost to what we have tried to put together. It showed that we did do something special in the last two days.”

Jim Nadler, head of KBRA, said at the summit that Bermuda has a significant role to play in affecting climate change using insurance industry resources.

“They teed up all of the issues,” Mr Nadler said. “It was clear that everyone was engaged and everyone had thought about it and were thinking of ways that they could act on the things that we talked about today.”

Mr Huff said Bermuda has had a head start on thinking about climate risk.

“Thirty years ago we started covering climate risk out of Florida after Hurricane Andrew,” Mr Huff said. “That has helped us reach this point where we are today.”

Mr Hart said longer and broader discussions would continue throughout the year on topics brought up at the conference.

“This was one moment in a longer conversation,” Mr Hart said.

Sponsors included Conduit Re, Belco, Aspen, AXA, Deloitte, HSBC and Nephila, Butterfield, Elbow Beach Capital, Hub Culture, KPMG, WTW and media partner Bermuda Re + ILS.

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Published May 26, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated May 25, 2022 at 3:58 pm)

Bermuda Climate Summit will be back in 2023, say organisers

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