Harnessing Insurance for Sustainable Development
Authors: Butch Bacani Jeremy McDaniels Nick Robins
Published By: UNEP Inquiry UN Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI)
Date: Jun 2015
Sustainable development risks and opportunities including natural disasters, access to insurance, climate change and the low-carbon transition, aging populations and long-term investment are high on the agenda for insurance.
This working paper has been developed through a consultation involving more than 30 respondents from insurance companies, regulators and stakeholders in over 20 countries, bolstered by engagements held in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, and the Insurance 2030 Roundtable, which brought together over 70 participants representing leading global insurers and regulators from around the globe.
Drawing on the responses, it is clear that a large majority of firms and regulators in developed and developing countries support a more integrated approach to sustainable development within the insurance industry. Policy suggestions from respondents exhibited convergence in a number of key areas for insurance policy reform, including embedding sustainable development priorities at international and national levels, incorporating sustainable development priorities into insurance regulation, and incentivizing innovation. Certain respondents, however, remained sceptical about the potential for negative unintended consequences of further regulatory controls on the insurance industry.
This report presents a suite of options that could strengthen the alignment between the insurance industry and sustainable development through to 2030. It highlights a number of existing innovations such as use of sustainabilty risk management frameworks, data-sharing on environmental hazards, and innovations such as index-linked insurance and microinsurance. The report identifies three potential measures to scale up the innovations through enhanced coordination, knowledge sharing, and coherence:
- Convene an Insurance Network on Sustainable Development – to improve dialogue, stimulate innovation and partnerships, and improve coherence between existing initiatives.
- Establish a Sustainable Insurance Policy Forum – to scale up policy progress through enhanced cooperation and collaboration between governments.
- Agree a set of Insurance Development Goals to focus long-term efforts beyond 2015.
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