Every year, Climate Week in New York City brings much needed attention to the larger topic of climate awareness and refuels the conversation throughout the industry. While it may seem a distant memory, this past Climate Week NYC in September of 2014 was the most successful climate week ever, again raising awareness to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people about climate change, clean technologies, government and private sector objectives and "adaptation challenges."
But more needs to be done by individuals, companies and governments to keep the climate conversation happening daily, not just for a few weeks per year tied to a few high-level events. This is one of our goals as a company and a major commitment by many of us at Swiss Re. Furthermore, the conversation needs to shift away from climate change to climate adaptation. The latter is key because adaptation leads to longer term resilience.
Climate Week NYC launched RE:100, which Swiss Re is proud to be a part of. RE:100 is an initiative to take the use of sustainable energy supplies to the next level, as well as bring additional international attention to the effort. This includes helping businesses on their journey to using 100% renewable power by different means.
Last month, my colleague, Jamie Miller, Head of Property North America, touched on the 100 Resilient Cities initiative in his blog. This is another example of cities, states, governments and commercial entities working in partnership to focus on adaptive measures and future resilience activities.
So, what are the next steps?
There are countries that are working toward new climate agreements, including goals and a plan of action. For example, holding the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celcius is a goal that can begin to be addressed in 2015 but there isn’t a current end date. Public-private partnerships focused on sustainability aim to take into consideration how businesses operate in various environments, and can be helpful in the overall climate awareness efforts. Climate Week NYC serves as a jumping off point to begin negotiations, discuss goals and objectives, and bring awareness and attention to initiatives such as RE:100, 100 Resilient Cities, and other major organizations that are doing their part in helping to address climate awareness and climate adaptation.
What are your thoughts and opinions on climate awareness and shifting focus away from change to adaptation and resilience? Let us know your opinion and discuss with others on our social media networks. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions on Twitter @SwissRe_CS and LinkedIn; Bob Petrilli on Twitter @BPetrilli_SRCS
Category: Climate/natural disasters: Climate change, Resilience, Sustainable energy