Reinsurance News

UN partnership has potential for systemic climate change: ICMIF

29th October 2021 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Hilde Vernaillen, the Chair of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), has suggested that the ICMIF’s partnership work with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has the potential to bring about “real systemic change” in combating climate change.

financial-climate-riskDuring a high-level UN panel discussion as part of the 76th President of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Vernaillen noted that the Federation’s members are collectively investing some $570 billion in responsible investments, such as green bonds, social bonds and resilience bonds.

Mutual and cooperative insurers represent almost 30% of the world’s insurance market and $10 trillion in assets, and the ICMIF believes the insurance industry is uniquely positioned to assist with delivering climate action.

But whilst the investment numbers from ICMIF members shown above are hugely significant, the partnership with the UNDRR has the potential to engender much more systemic change, Vernaillen added.

The partnership began in November 2019 and a joint report by ICMIF and the UNDRR was published in April 2021, which summarised seven mechanisms for supporting disaster risk reduction and resilience that ICMIF members are working with to embed the Sendai Agreement into their businesses.

The ICMIF/UNDRR partnership is now rolling out pilot initiatives which will bring together the investment and risk parts of member organisation’s businesses.

Insurers will utilise their investments to invest in resilient infrastructure projects that need funding via a sustainable investment mechanism to realise projects that have climate, disaster risk reduction and/or resilience outcomes.

The pilots will require each stakeholder to consider their investments in a different way and to work in partnership to deliver resilient outcomes, leveraging other private sector funding to ensure public projects are delivered in a resilient and climate positive solution.

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