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Insurers continue to make steady progress in responding to climate change

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The insurance industry is continuing to take the necessary steps to incorporate the risks posed by climate change across their business activities, an annual review of insurance industry’s global network ClimateWise revealed today.

The 2015 independent annual review of the six ClimateWise Principles adopted by members of the industry leadership group concludes that positive progress continues to be made in response to climate change, with average scores rising across almost all of the principles against 2014.

ClimateWise is a collaboration of more than 30 industry leaders spanning Europe, Asia, North and South America and Africa. Annually, members report on their progress in embedding the six ClimateWise Principles that frame their contribution to the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. They include leading on climate risk analysis and climate-resilient investment; improving customers’ climate awareness; and reducing their own carbon footprint.

The average member scores rise from 51% in 2014 to 56% in 2015. This marks steady progress, especially after the reporting requirements were tightened in 2013. No notable decreases in scores were recorded across any of the Principles or sub-Principles while significant increases were seen in response to Principle 1 (lead in risk analysis) and sub-Principle 3.4 (market penetration).

The release of this year’s report comes on the eve of the crucial COP21 climate negotiations. It also marks the end of a year that has seen growing concern by investors, insurance regulators and central banks, on the impact climate change may have on the insurance industry.  Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, described climate change as a ‘mega risk’ in his speech at Lloyd’s entitled ‘Breaking the tragedy of the horizon – climate change and financial stability.’ In this context, the ClimateWise Principles continue to provide clear evidence of what a voluntary group of progressive insurance industry leaders are doing in response to climate change.

Maurice Tulloch, ClimateWise Chair and CEO of Aviva UK & Ireland General Insurance, said: “It’s remarkable how far understandings of climate change and the insurance industry have come. Even only a few years ago, it would have been considered unthinkable that a central regulator like the Bank of England would publish a report examining the potential impact of climate change for the insurance sector and its clients.

“Indeed, given the continual growth in exposure to natural catastrophes insurance cannot simply rely on a strategy of assessing and repricing risks as this may ultimately lead to uninsurable markets, thereby undermining our own industry’s relevance, and future. The ClimateWise Principles provide a clear framework that help our members to demonstrate their commitment to the societal transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient society.”

Tom Herbstein, Programme Manager of ClimateWise, said: “As a voice of progressive insurance industry leaders globally, ClimateWise and its six Principles give members an opportunity to demonstrate to their clients, regulators and investors, their concern regarding climate change and that they are taking the necessary measures in response.

“Members are increasingly beginning to consider their exposure to climate risk in investment portfolios and the need to move capital away from sectors inherently at risk as society transitions to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Members are also developing their role as societies’ risk manager by innovating in terms of product development and sustainable claims processes.”

Jon Williams, Partner at PwC UK, which conducted the independent review, said: “With all eyes on climate negotiations in Paris at the end of 2015, it is no surprise that there has been a marked rise in the interest in the risks climate change presents to the insurance industry, from regulators such as the Bank of England, and investors in the sector.

“Going forward this interest will manifest itself in greater expectations on disclosure by the industry to demonstrate analysis and integration of the physical and transition risks in both underwriting and investment decisions. As Independent Reviewer of the ClimateWise initiative, we are pleased to see that, already in their seventh year of reporting performance against the Principles, members continue to raise the bar on demonstrating management of climate risk.”

This report describes the latest climate change context for the insurance industry and presents perspectives from both investors and regulators on the role voluntary disclosure plays in communicating an insurer’s exposure to climate risk. It also reviews member performance across the ClimateWise Principles. Based on their annual submissions, each ClimateWise member is given a private ranking that allows them to benchmark progress against their peers and to inform their strategic planning. Case studies of innovation and good practice are highlighted throughout the report.

Read the 2015 ClimateWise Principles Annual Review.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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