I just stepped out of a fishbowl – and I've got some good news and some bad news. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Today, we're celebrating Swiss Re's 150 Years Anniversary, and we spent a great deal of this afternoon talking about risk. I joined a dialogue session with clients and stakeholders sitting in two concentric circles - forming a "fishbowl" - to discuss how we're going to create a "climate-resilient" world by 2050.
Five minutes into the conversation, I was reassured. All the experts present seemed to agree that we already have all the technologies, all the tools and all the science we need to stop global warming and manage the risks that climate change poses. All we need to do, everyone agreed, is to change the way we live. This means building smarter and strengthening disaster defences. That's the good news. The bad news is that change is not going to be easy, it's not going to be cheap and it's not going to be fast. In fact, by the time it happens - if it happens at all - it might be too late. And this is where the consensus started to fizzle and where one question led to another:
How do you change entrenched behaviours, practices and policies to better prepare for natural disasters and mitigate climate risk? Do you do it by political decree, through financial incentives, or by educating more people about risk? And who is responsible for affecting change? Can the insurance industry play a leading or will it simply follow?
Category: Climate/natural disasters: Climate change, Disaster risk