We are committed to guiding the profession and we recognise the critical importance of engaging the insurance industry and wider economy on the risks and implications of climate change.
We believe that this is an issue which affects each and every one of us, and the insurance industry has the unique potential to shape not only corporate response and action, but global policy decisions as well.
The Chartered Insurance Institute remains committed to embedding a regard for climate change across its strategy and operations. This commitment is optimised by the strategic statement made we made in the 2009 Annual Review and by our energy policy which gained board approval the same year and which has now been updated (see below).
As part of our thought leadership agenda, in 2008 we published our third major study into the effects of climate change for the insurance sector, building on previous works in 1994 and 2001. Designed to help insurance practitioners consider and quantify the risks associated with climate change across all lines, the report comprised eighteen chapters on various subjects around the topic, including the background science, flood risks, implications for SMEs, financial markets and sustainability.
All core functions of our operations have embedded a commitment to raising climate change awareness and delivering sustainable business practises. For example, considerable cross-departmental effort has been taken to ensure that our climate change thought leadership becomes an explicit learning tool for practitioners, and all research is circulated as widely as possible. Sustainable business practices are embedded across our organisation - both in terms of our buildings (including Logistics and Office Services) as well as our people (Human Resources).
Report to ClimateWise 2016
In June 2008 the CII joined ClimateWise, a group of insurance organisations committed to taking action to reduce the risk of climate change, as one of its first non-corporate members. In recently submitting our seventh annual report, we have made significant steps to advance our commitment to action on climate change. We see our contributions falling primarily in our ability to raise awareness among our individual members, and the key educational role the organisation has in both an informal and more formal capacity by providing technical information through examinations and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) materials.
As a member of ClimateWise we are committed to demonstrating our action on climate change through the following six principles:
- Lead in risk analysis
- Inform public policy making
- Support climate awareness amongst our customers
- Incorporate climate change into our investment strategies
- Reduce the environmental impact of our business
- Report and be accountable
The CII is also in a unique position to influence other key stakeholders, including policymakers, through thought leadership such as research, articles, public statements, and collaboration.
The Last Generation? The Paris climate change conference and its implications for insurance
To coincide with the landmark Paris COP-21 climate change conference, the CII published a report on the issues and the implications of the conference for insurance and financial services. This was prepared for us by Dr Andrew Dlugolecki FCII, Chartered Insurer, former insurance practitioner with Aviva, former member of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and editor of our 2008 reportCoping with Climate Change.The Last Generation?provided an expert analysis of the concerns relating specifically to insurance and wider financial services leading up to the Paris climate change conference, the agreements made, and their implications for the sector.
The report was named after President Barack Obama's speech in August 2015 that drew the world's attention to "the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it." It featured a foreword by ClimateWise chairman Maurice Tulloch who described the report as "a timely and vital component as we organise our thinking".
Our view on the Paris climate change conference
The research identifies two key challenges facing the insurance sector:
- The mitigation policies that have been put into place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) - this process will transform the technologies that underpin our mode of life with consequent shifts in economic power between countries, and companies; and
- Adapting to extreme weather patterns - the current climate has become more extreme. As this pattern is expected to continue it implies greater risk for weather perils. In particular, Greenland ice-melt has created a huge temperature anomaly in the North Atlantic, raising the prospect of freakish conditions for the UK
Our energy policy
In 2009, we adopted a formal environmental policy committed to:
- Minimising CO2 emissions
- Reducing our energy impact and cost
- Where possible, using energy from sustainable sources
- Preferring suppliers that, when all things are equal, demonstrate 'green' credentials or are working towards this
- Considering life-cycle energy costs for all new projects
- Fulfilling our ClimateWise membership commitments