Global Re/Insurance CEO’s Sign on to Geneva Association’s Climate Risk Statement

May 21, 2014

Sixty-six chief executives of the world’s largest re/insurers have confirmed their commitment to The Geneva Association’s Climate Risk Statement―a set of guiding principles on the substantial role insurance can play in global efforts to tackle climate-related risks.

The association’s announcement said the “statement will provide the foundations on which the direction of future climate-related initiatives by The Geneva Association will be based.” The statement was finalized among leaders of the world’s largest insurers on Friday at The Geneva Association’s annual General Assembly in Toronto, Canada.

Al Gore, former U.S. vice president and chairman of Generation Investment Management, speaking at the Assembly said: “The insurance industry has long ago taken the initiative on climate risk, and with this statement commits to do even more. As an industry it has the capacity to work with policymakers on the mitigation of climate-related risks.

“If market forces are leveraged and elected officials and regulators are engaged wisely, insurers have so much to offer and can help the world deal with this serious issue. Most people don’t want to think about long term risk. Now that our world is facing the gravest risks it has ever faced, the world should turn to insurers for advice. In turn, insurers must be more vocal about the challenges they see.”

The bulletin also noted that the members of the association have gross written premiums in excess of $2.1 trillion, aggregated total assets of more than $14.9 trillion, and are headquartered in 27 countries around the world, employing more than 2 million people, serving customers in over 140 countries.

Michael Butt, chairman of Axis Capital and co-chairman of the Geneva Association’s “Climate Risk and Extreme Events” working group, said the Climate Risk Statement “provides a reference point for policymakers, non-governmental organizations, customers, as well as the insurance industry itself, on the ways in which insurance can complement global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

He also said: “Our industry can make a considerable contribution to global efforts to reduce the impact of climate change, but reaching its full potential will require greater collaboration with governments and global governance bodies, such as the United Nations.”

The signers from the re/ insurance industry included the following persons – in no particular order:

Inga Beale, Lloyd’s CEO; Dominic Addesso, President & CEO Everest Re; Albert Benchimol, President & CEO Axis Capital; Robert Benmosche, President & CEO AIG; Stephen Catlin, CEO Catlin Group; Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO AXA; Michael Diekmann, Chairman of the Board of Management Allianz SE; Evan Greenberg, Chairman & CEO ACE Group; Ajit Jain, President Berkshire Hathaway Group; Denis Kessler, Chairman & CEO SCOR; Michael Liès, Group CEO Swiss Re; Michael McGavick, CEO XL Group; Costas Miranthis, President & CEO PartnerRe; Shuzo Sumi, Chairman Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire; Nicholas von Bomhard, Chairman of the Board of Management Munich Re; Mike Wilkins, Managing Director & CEO Insurance Australia Group and Greig Woodring, President & CEO Reinsurance Group of America.

Source: The Geneva Association

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