ClimateWise insurance companies combat climate change

September 13, 2007 at 6:03 am | Posted in AIG, Allianz, Aviva, AXA, Benfield, Climate action, Climate change, Co-operative Insurance, Environmental impact, F & C, Friends Provident, HBOS, Insurance, Investment strategies, Lloyd's of London, Lloyds TSB, Munich Re, Optimism, Public awareness, RBSI, Reductions, Risk assessment, Risk management, Royal & SunAlliance, Zurich | Leave a comment

Insurance industry joins climate change fight
Money > News
Staff and agencies
Thursday September 13, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The insurance industry today launched a major initiative to help tackle climate change and encourage consumers to be more environmentally friendly, which could lead to the introduction of more “green” insurance policies.

A group of global insurers, reinsurers and brokers has developed a set of ClimateWise principles that aim to do everything from reducing the environmental impact of their own businesses to rewarding customers for cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.

Full coverage in the Guardian …

Nice backgrounder by The Press Association.

Companies involved in the launch of ClimateWise are:

  • AIG
  • Allianz
  • AXA
  • Aviva
  • Benfield
  • Co-operative Insurance
  • F & C
  • Friends Provident
  • HBOS
  • Lloyd’s of London
  • Lloyds TSB
  • Munich Re
  • RBSI
  • Royal & SunAlliance
  • Swiss Re
  • Zurich

Their press release today, and the new ClimateWise website explains:

ClimateWise is…

a group of leading companies and organisations in the insurance industry. Each of us is committed to taking action on climate change and to reporting publicly on our own performance.

We will: lead the way in analysing and reducing risks; support climate awareness amongst our customers; incorporate climate change into our investment strategies; inform and engage in public policy debate; and reduce the environmental impact of our businesses.

Since I spent some time writing about Windsor Great Park this morning, for the sad reasons related to the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), I am particularly happy to include here a quote from HRH Prince of Wales, who is a real climate hero (along with Sir David Attenborough) and is quoted on the ClimateWise homepage as saying:

This is just the beginning of the process of real change. Time is a luxury we do not have and I urge companies both at home and internationally to sign the ClimateWise principles and take the necessary action.

There are documents available for download from the ClimateWise website, including:

Climate Wise Principles page 1 of 2

Positive steps to combat climate change are always welcome, and even more so when they appear with increasing regularity on the Money* pages, instead of being left to the Science and Environment pages (in Britain) or the Opinion/Editorial pages (in America). Progress is being made in Britain as businesses are taking the threat of climate change more seriously and working out how to tackle it. Similarly, there are more stories popping up in local newspapers Stateside, as communities in different locations get together to grapple with the effect climate change may have on their local ecosystems and economies.

Update: there’s also an article that ties the government nicely in with this story, also in today’s Guardian, and this time in the Business* section.
MPs: government should help citizens ‘do their bit’ on climate change
* See what I mean? We just need to get climate change action to make more regular appearances in the Lifestyle and Fashion sections—beyond suggestions to grow your own Mediterranean-style garden in Wales, while thanks to the heatwaves we are told “Just three thongs and you’re dressed!”—and climate campaigns will take off 😉

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