Munich Re (the insurer’s insurer) may have more impact on society’s response to climate change than scientists and legislators.

From The Guardian:

Insurers have warned that climate change could make cover for ordinary people unaffordable after the world’s largest reinsurance firm blamed global warming for $24bn (£18bn) of losses in the Californian wildfires.

Ernst Rauch, Munich Re’s chief climatologist, told the Guardian that the costs could soon be widely felt, with premium rises already under discussion with clients holding asset concentrations in vulnerable parts of the state. …

After comparing observational data spanning several decades with climate models, the report concluded that the wildfires, which killed 85 people, were “broadly consistent with climate change”.

Nicolas Jeanmart, the head of personal insurance, general insurance and macroeconomics at Insurance Europe, which speaks for 34 national insurance associations, said the knock-on effects from rising premiums could pose a threat to social order. … 

“The sector is concerned that continuing global increases in temperature could make it increasingly difficult to offer the affordable financial protection that people deserve, and that modern society requires to function properly,” he said. …

Dr Ben Caldecott, the director of Oxford University’s sustainable finance programme, said: “Company directors and fiduciaries will ultimately be held responsible for avoidable climate-related damages and losses and urgently need to up their game to avoid litigation and liability.”

Munich Re has divested its large thermal coal holdings. However, it maintains some gas and oil investments.



  1. This article raises a good point but one must beware of mis-using this article to cause more FEAR about climate change. As noted by one banker in this financial news “In general, one can’t prove that a single event is the result of climate change but it is likely to cause more such events of greater severity.” As an individual, one has to continue to support our current economy but be open to new equitable ways to prepare for, regulate and finance future events, even banning human developments in crisis areas eg low coast lines, dense forests. One might promote communities/countries to build tidal wall barriers for low coast areas and proclaim forest lands protected areas, for example.

  2. Four focus areas of climate change policies for scientists and policy makers

    1) Assess science with short term impact
    2) Set realistic policy goals
    3) Start rapid adaptation with more local data
    4) Introduce rapid responses to quickly lessen climate impacts, such as through reducing emissions of methane, soot (or black carbon) and HFCs.

    “For decades, scientists and policymakers have framed the climate-policy debate in a simple way: scientists analyse long-term goals, and policymakers pretend to honour them. Those days are over. Serious climate policy must focus more on the near-term and on feasibility.” – Y. Xu, V. Ramanathan, D. Victor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *