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Prince of Wales launches Insurance Task Force to tackle climate change

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Prince Charles has visited Lloyd’s today to launch his Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Insurance Task Force, bringing together (re)insurance industry executives to work towards building a net-zero economy.

Executives including AIG CEO Peter Zaffino, Aon CEO Greg Case and Munich Re CEO Joachim Wenning have joined the task force, which was convened by the Prince of Wales and chaired by Lloyd’s. The first meeting of the task force was held at the Lloyd’s building in the company of the Prince of Wales today.

The task force today published its statement of intent, and committed to the provision of climate positive financing and risk management solutions to encourage businesses and individuals to transition to a sustainable future.

The task force will launch at least two insurance products to protect priority industries such as nuclear energy, hydrogen and offshore wind, in order to enable their accelerated growth.

It will also introduce “build back better” claims clauses in home insurance policies to encourage customers to rebuild damaged properties with more sustainable materials.

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The group will work to launch a public-private disaster resilience, response and recovery framework to mitigate against the social and economic impacts of climate change. A pilot for this solution will be rolled out this year.

The task force committed to devising a framework to unlock more than $30tn in assets under management, and directing that capital towards investment in green projects and innovation geared towards driving climate-positive outcomes.

As part of this initiative, an investment proposal will be developed with a particular focus on renewable energy and climate transition assets.

The launch of the task force comes after Lloyd’s and the wider (re)insurance market comes under increasing pressure to aid the transition to a more sustainable future, and establish its own green credentials.

During the visit to Lloyd’s today, the Lutine Bell was rung twice – traditionally done so to herald good news – to mark the (re)insurance industry’s commitment to drive climate positive action.

In his remarks made in the Underwriting Room to an audience of London market professionals, the Prince of Wales said:

“We have never needed you more than we have needed you today. And that is the point I wanted to make to you today in the Underwriting Room.”

He continued: “The urgency for action has never been so great. And with this in mind I can only ask you to join us... If there is one insurance policy we need, it is the one that guarantees the survival of the natural systems which sustain all life on earth, and us.”

The insurance industry is exceptionally well placed to understand the impact of climate change and the damage it can cause to us all if we don’t take action now. This is why I am so pleased that a large number of the world’s leading insurance companies have joined together to identify how the insurance industry can help put Nature, People and the Planet at the heart of our entire economy.

In a statement, Lloyd’s chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown added: “As the world begins to recover from a pandemic that has caused significant and far-reaching financial and societal challenges, it does so with an opportunity to build back with sustainability as a foundation and guiding principle.

He continued: “Although climate change poses unprecedented systemic risk, it is one which – through partnership and accelerated action – we have the means to address. As a task force, we are making a resolute commitment to be a catalyst for action to help create a more sustainable future through the risks we manage and the capital we invest.”

The Prince of Wales, launched the SMI alongside a 10-point action plan at Davos in January 2020.

The SMI is a network of global CEOs working together to build prosperous and sustainable economies that generate long-term value through the balanced integration of natural, social, human and financial capital.

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