With the COP27 conference underway, Jonathan Larsen, Chief Innovation Officer at Chinese insurer Ping An, says he sees significant opportunities for the insurance and reinsurance industries to finance the transition to a low carbon economy.
“Ping An, as a very large China-based financial technology and health company, certainly has the ambition to be at the forefront of the highest standards of ESG reporting and conduct,” said Larsen, speaking at the recent Singapore Fintech Festival.
He added that the group’s efforts to measure and track its environmental impact and to create an ESG rating framework for other companies shows how it aims to become “a constructive force in introducing global standards to Chinese companies.”
Specifically, he pointed to Ping An’s artificial-intelligence-based ESG evaluation system, launched in 2021, which aims to help drive responsible investment in China.
He also noted that Ping An is endeavouring to drive business innovation in support of China’s transition to a low-carbon economy, having launched a personal carbon account platform earlier this year for its UnionPay credit and debit card customers, in addition to a platform for monitoring carbon emissions based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
“That’s certainly a profitable opportunity for us and puts customers in control of their emission profile,” Larsen said.
And in the insurance industry, Ping An also see significant opportunity for innovation in managing catastrophes driven by extreme climate events, with Ping An Property & Casualty having launched its National Disaster Risk Platform 2.0 in 2021 to help control and mitigate the risk in agriculture.
Larsen concluded that there are further “grounds for optimism” in the scale that China is driving positive change, with Ping An praising the “enormous progress” made by the country in moving towards renewable energy.