Blog: Sustainable Insurance Thinking and Practices are Converging – Summary of Latest Actions by Insurers, Regulators, and Policymakers

As world leaders, business and civil society come together in Bonn for the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23)—which is the next step to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change—important developments are taking place within the global insurance industry and insurance regulatory and supervisory community to support the transformation to a resilient, inclusive and sustainable economy. UNEP FI’s Butch Bacani summarises these developments in his blog, and provides links to background reading on the topic, and reminds us of an upcoming event.

13th International Microinsurance Conference in Lima | 7-9 November, 2017
The world’s microinsurance community—from insurers, distribution channels, regulators, and investment funds; to policymakers, international and civil society organisations, and academics—are gathering at the 13th International Microinsurance Conference in Lima.

In this regard, last August, the PSI and the Microinsurance Network forged a global partnership to promote inclusive and sustainable insurance markets and help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

5th Global Insurance Supervision Conference in Frankfurt | 6 – 7 September, 2017
Equally, there is growing awareness and action on sustainability issues within the global insurance regulatory and supervisory community.

The European Insurance & Occupational Pensions Authority invited UNEP FI’s Butch Bacani to speak about “Sustainable insurance: Turning environmental, social and governance challenges into sustainable opportunities” at the 5th Global Insurance Supervision Conference in Frankfurt last September.

3rd Meeting of the Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF) in Kuala Lumpur) | October, 2017
Insurance regulators from around the world gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the third meeting of the Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF). Launched in December 2016 and convened by UN Environment, the SIF is an international network of insurance regulators and supervisors working together to strengthen their understanding of and response to relevant sustainability issues.

The SIF meeting was hosted by Malaysia’s central bank and held back-to-back with the Annual Conference of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.

Read the guidance for insurance regulators that the SIF is developing so that insurers can respond effectively to climate risks across their insurance and investment activities here.

Read the statement that the SIF issued supporting the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures here.

Read the SIF’s first report on “Sustainable Insurance: The emerging agenda for supervisors and regulators” here.

Insurance & Climate Risk 2017 | 15 November, 2017
Insurance industry leaders and key stakeholders are gathering in London the Insurance & Climate Risk event, which will feature industry practices to manage climate change risks and opportunities, and how these could be enhanced and brought to scale. UNEP FI’s Butch Bacani will be delivering the opening keynote address as well as the closing remarks.

PSI signatory companies that have adopted the UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), such as Allianz, AXA, NN Group, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich, among others, will speak at the event. More speakers and topics covered during the event can be found here.

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These important developments provide a snapshot of a growing convergence of sustainable insurance thinking and practices across the insurance, regulatory and policymaking communities. In short, whether you’re an insurer, a regulator or a policymaker, you need to manage the risks and opportunities posed by sustainability challenges. There is no excuse for inaction, and an indispensable factor is collaboration.