Reinsurance News

Climate non-profit Icebreaker One launches with industry backing

27th January 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Global non-profit Icebreaker One has launched with £1 million in funding and support from a consortium of re/insurers and other financial institutions, with the aim of developing an open standard for data sharing to stimulate climate-friendly product innovation in 2020.

financial-climate-riskAlso launched during the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, the new Standard for Environment, Risk and Insurance (SERI) has been created to design, test and develop financial products with Icebreaker One members ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year

Current SERI launch partners include Aon, Arup, Agvesto, Bird & Bird, Brit Insurance, Dais LLP, Lloyd’s Register Group and the University of Cambridge.

Icebreaker One, which is core-funded by UKRI, will work with key stakeholders to overcome business models that keep data closed off, rather than being shared and open, to catalyse data access across the sector.

A consortium of industry experts will work together to develop an open standard for data sharing, which is also expected to help mitigate high transaction costs.

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“The time for theory is over—we need rapid and meaningful action,” said Gavin Starks, founder of Icebreaker One. “The threat of climate change to the global economy is tangible, and the increase in catastrophic climate events is capable of bankrupting markets and even nation-states. We are already witnessing insurance in some areas becoming untenable – which is a genuine threat to communities and wider society.

“The time to act is now to help channel our abundance of capital to a carbon net-zero future,” Starks continued.

“We are working with some of the most influential organisations in the world to plan policies and regulation to protect citizens, our environment and our economy; to unlock the power of unused and underutilised data to enable governments and business to respond effectively, responsibly and sustainably to the threats posed by the climate emergency. We encourage anyone with relevant interests to join us on this critical challenge of our time.”

Volker Buscher, Chief Data Officer at Arup, also commented: “Responding to climate change and futureproofing the market is vital – and working with Gavin and senior industry figures is a big opportunity to make real-world data work harder, to evolve investment strategies, shine a light on inefficiencies and better understand risk.”

“It’s of benefit to everyone that we create the working blueprint for the freer sharing and licensing of data-at-scale that can be a shot in the arm to climate-affected financial products and services.”

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