The need to adapt to climate change is growing, which often means adapting at a regional level, especially for municipalities, cities and many companies.
This is why Finnish ICMIF member LähiTapiola (LocalTapiola) has donated EUR 310,000 to fund a research project by the by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (Ilmatieteen laitos) to enable more accurate, regional data to support climate change adaptation in Finland. In urban planning, for example, there is still a lack of tools to assess climate impacts at the planning level.
The project will help to gain a more accurate understanding of the regional impacts of climate change and build research services for society as a whole. For example, the information will help to plan measures to adapt to climate change at the planning stage, such as assessing the cooling and heating needs of buildings.
The project will look at weather phenomena such as heat waves, droughts, heavy rain and hailstorms, as well as winter zero-temperature conditions, wind and wind gusts. Forecasts will be produced for the periods 2040-2070 and 2070-2100 and the results will be reported on an online portal. The project is planned to run from 2023 to 2026.
The project will respond to the growing need for more accurate information on the spatial and temporal progression of climate change, emission reduction targets and risks of extreme conditions to support decision-making and adaptation. The project will also provide new, real-time observational data on the local climate of four different cities in Finland.
“Our aim is to build interactive data services and maps that will help people understand the characteristics of their local climate. The services will help to prepare for the risks of climate change, especially those related to agriculture and forestry, housing, mobility and well being” says Hilppa Gregow, Head of Unit, Research Professor at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
In the insurance sector, climate change issues are particularly related to natural phenomena.
“Mitigating climate change is of paramount importance, and we have set ambitious targets for this work in our investment, insurance and other activities. In addition to actively reducing emissions, we want to play a role in enabling Finnish solutions to adapt to climate change. By supporting the research project of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, we can improve our understanding of the regional impacts of climate change and their specific characteristics” says Juha Koponen (pictured right), President and CEO of LocalTapiola.
Climate change will have a fundamental impact on the insurance industry and on LocalTapiola’s customers. It will increase the likelihood of extreme weather events and create new risks.
“It is essential to prepare for the risks of climate change, and the insurance sector has an important role to play in this. Climate change and extreme weather events cause a lot of material damage, which LocalTapiola also compensates through its insurance policies. As a risk prevention expert, we want to work with our partners to increase understanding of climate change and find ways to prevent the risks it causes” Koponen adds.