HKS Affiliated Authors


May 24, 2024, Opinion: "In the 23rd session of the Committee of Experts for Public Administration, the working group on institutions, climate action and environment facilitated an expert panel to discuss the topic of “regulating and reforming the insurance industry to combat climate change and accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda”, based on the working group’s paper on the topic. Main findings of the paper and discussions are listed below.  The insurance industry plays a critical role in partnering with governments to mitigate the impact of climate risks. The public sector frequently relies on it to help assess new and emerging risks and to provide coverage to limit liability for damage. The volatility and severity of catastrophic weather events in the face of climate change have led insurers and reinsurers to reprice and reduce risk coverage, particularly in the area of property and casualty insurance, with devastating impacts for governments and individuals, especially for vulnerable groups. The principle of "leaving no one behind” is central to the 2030 Agenda. In the context of insurance and climate risks, “leaving no one behind” involves ensuring that climate resilience efforts benefit everyone, especially those who are at the highest risk. The widening protection gap—the difference between losses covered by insurance and actual economic damage from climate events—poses a significant risk. This is especially true in less developed regions where insurance penetration remains low, risks of climate-change related losses are high, and economic capabilities to recover from disasters are limited."