A time for disruptive optimism: Role of insurance in COP26

A daily blog series during COP26

Drone photo of Iceberg and ice from glacier in arctic nature landscape on Greenland. Aerial photo drone photo of icebergs in Ilulissat icefjord. Affected by climate change and global warming.

Yesterday was the launch of COP26 which is being held in Glasgow over the next two weeks.

COP26 is a global United Nations summit about climate change. It is the 26th meeting of the “Conference of the Parties” and is attended by countries that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty agreed in 1994.

While procedural negotiations take place today, we take a moment to reflect on what the weeks ahead might hold.

COP26 will be an opportunity to outline the decisive action needed to minimize the impact of climate change and protect the planet. Implementation will no doubt be the order of the day.

Countries will need to commit to actions and measures to collectively meet the COP26 goals, which are:

  • To secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
  • To adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.
  • To mobilize finance. 
  • To work together to deliver.

This will require innovation at the country level, and support from industries like the insurance sector.

Ahead of COP26, the insurance industry has been carving out the role it will play in enabling climate action and supporting change.

The insurance industry is well positioned to be a key facilitator of the four COP26 goals. There are a number of initiatives in place and being established to support the industry’s role in supporting the COP26 targets. The key to the insurance industry’s support, however, is its ability both to be innovative and to respond to innovation.

The insurance industry’s legacy of helping communities and sectors build resilience against disasters is well known. What is far less recognized is the amount of expertize, data, and resource within the industry. These are key building blocks for creating innovative products and solutions that support climate action.

These building blocks can support the further development of risk-sharing mechanisms that underpin the climate-related efforts of developing countries. The Insurance Development Forum (IDF), launched at COP21 in Paris, highlights the critical role that risk management and resilience play in climate action.

During COP26, there will be opportunities to explore how innovation in risk transfer, underwriting, and risk management can support global ambitions.

Over the next two weeks, while world leaders gather to map a way forward — and outline the necessary actions needed to manage climate change — we at Marsh will be reflecting on what this means for our clients and our industry.

Join us daily as we share these views, along with a brief outline of the day’s events, in our COP26 blog series.

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