The Geneva Association, an international insurance think tank, is calling on delegates meeting in Warsaw for the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties to recognize the importance of countrywide disaster-risk reduction measures such as risk-conscious urban planning and building standards.

John Fitzpatrick
John Fitzpatrick

John Fitzpatrick, secretary general of The Geneva Association, stresses the need for society and governments to learn from extreme events such as Typhoon Haiyan. He says that “the global governors present at the COP19 meetings have the ability and the opportunity to increase disaster-risk resilience globally through the creation of an effective successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action.”

Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more severe, and development of coastlines and other areas exposed to natural catastrophes continues without serious consideration for these increased risks. The Geneva Association believes that an opportunity has arisen in the Philippines to rebuild a more resilient infrastructure in the wake of the typhoon and that using risk-conscious practices in that country and elsewhere is vital to building resilience over time.

“The insurance industry stands ready to collaborate with governments on the development of more resilient communities and infrastructure and wherever possible will provide its financial shock absorption function that reduces the financial burden on governments and increases the recovery of individuals and economies alike,” says Michael Butt, chairman of AXIS Capital and co-chairman of The Geneva Association’s climate risks and insurance working group.

Source: The Geneva Association