Can climate insurance address climate risks while adhering to fair and pro-poor principles?
Development and Climate Days 2018
Katowice, Poland, 08.12.2018
German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA)
Approaches to managing disasters in the last century typically focused almost exclusively on response, and were detached in theory and practice from activities that influenced societal vulnerability and exposure. More recently these approaches have been replaced by integrated disaster and climate risk management. Integrated approaches call for comprehensively addressing the various dimensions associated with risk emergence, risk management and manifestation of disasters. Such approaches explicitly seek to link up with related policy agendas - in particular the climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience agendas, and more broadly the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Insurance is now widely recognised as an important element in the toolbox for integrated disaster and climate risk management. Its role is recognised in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and it has emerged as a key focus of global policy conversations - such as the special session on risk transfer and insurance at the 5th Global Platform on DRR. The topic has been anchored in the Paris Agreement and features in groundbreaking international initiatives, including the G7 InsuResilience. The insurance industry, too, is highly active in these conversations, including through industry-led think tanks such as the Geneva Association and multi-stakeholder platforms such as the Insurance Development Forum. Additional perspectives and experiences are offered by donors, NGOs and academia.
While promising, risk transfer in the form of climate risk insurance (CRI) has its share of challenges. Within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the lack of accessibility and affordability of CRI for poor and vulnerable groups have been identified as barriers to uptake. In light of climate justice, asking the poor and climate-vulnerable groups - most of whom do not contribute substantially to anthropogenic climate change - to solely carry the financial burden of risk transfer is anything but just. Employing a human rights-based approach to CRI may ensure that the resilience of poor and climate-vulnerable groups is enhanced in a climate-just manner.
- Natalia Winder-Rossi (FAO)
- Marie-Lena Hutfils (Germanwatch)
- ACRI+ Representatives from Morocco and Ghana (MCII)
- Reinhard Mechler (IIASA)
Session Facilitator: Denise Margaret Matias