Manchester (UK) Tuesday 26 October 2021: The Chair of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) will reveal later today during a high-level UN panel discussion as part of the 76th President of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, how the Federation’s members are collectively investing some USD 570 billion in responsible investments, such as green bonds, social bonds and resilience bonds; many of which will be targeting climate change and its effects.
Mutual and cooperative insurers represent almost 30% of the world’s insurance market and USD 10 trillion in assets. The insurance industry is uniquely positioned to assist with delivering climate action as it has both the assets to invest and the in-depth knowledge of the many risks that need to be mitigated both on a macro level and a community level to make both people and our planet more resilient.
Hilde Vernaillen, Chair of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and Chair of the Management Committee of P&V Group (Belgium) will join the UN General Assembly President’s high level talk on climate action later today (Tuesday 26 October 2021) when she participates in the Multi-stakeholder Panel on Bridging the Gap to 1.5 Degrees Target as part of the Delivering Climate Action – for People, for Planet & for Prosperity event. Watch the session online from 11.35am New York Time (4.35pm BST) on the UN event here and event will also be broadcast on UN WebTV.
The Delivering Climate Action – for People, for Planet & for Prosperity event will focus on narrowing the gap between current and required technical and financial capacities in order to achieve the 1.5 degrees target as agreed at COP21 in 2015 and showcase best practices that are addressing climate action. Ms. Vernaillen will speak about the work of the mutual and cooperative insurance sector in the panel.
Ms. Vernaillen will explain that whilst the investment numbers from ICMIF members shown above are hugely significant, it is the partnership work that ICMIF is doing with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) that also has the potential to bring about the real systemic change that the planet needs. The ICMIF/UNDRR partnership began in November 2019 and a joint report by ICMIF and the UNDRR was published in April 2021, From protection to prevention: The role of cooperative and mutual insurance in disaster risk reduction, which summarised seven mechanisms for supporting disaster risk reduction and resilience that ICMIF members are working with to embed the Sendai Agreement into their businesses.
The ICMIF/UNDRR partnership is now rolling out pilot initiatives which will bring together the investment and risk parts of member organisation’s businesses. Insurers will utilise their investments to invest in resilient infrastructure projects that need funding via a sustainable investment mechanism to realise projects that have climate, disaster risk reduction and/or resilience outcomes. This is a unique way of looking at funding much-needed projects whilst embedding sustainability and resilience across the supply chain.
The pilots will require each stakeholder to consider their investments in a different way and to work in partnership to deliver resilient outcomes. They will look to leverage other private sector funding to ensure public projects are delivered in a resilient and climate positive solution. This truly is a partnership that can embed the seven disaster risk reduction mechanisms and the Sustainable Development Goals and will be very scalable across other countries and therefore ultimately make communities more resilient; delivering climate action for people, planet and prosperity.
Watch the Multi-stakeholder Panel on Bridging the Gap to 1.5 Degrees Target session online from 11.35am New York Time (4.35pm BST) on Tuesday 26 October here. This link will also house a recording of the session after the event has taken place. The event will also be broadcast on UN WebTV.
About the 76th President of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly
As part of efforts to confront the worldwide threat of climate change, the 76th President of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, has convened an event entitled “Delivering Climate Action – for People, for Planet and for Prosperity” which takes place on Tuesday 26 October 2021.
Speaking about the event Mr. Shahid said it would be an opportunity for UN Member States, civil society and others, to come together to “take stock of the ambition raising initiatives along the path to COP26” which will take place in early November 2021 in Glasgow (Scotland).
Recognising that climate change is the greatest challenge of our time and with only a few weeks to go until the COP26 Climate Conference the UN General Assembly President’s event will focus on the immediate need to secure consensus to keep the 1.5-degree goal within reach and encourage the development of multi-sectoral partnerships among the broader global community that will also help achieve this critical aim.
The Multi-stakeholder Panel on Bridging the Gap to 1.5 Degrees Target will discuss what is needed to exponentially upscale the creation of investable, bankable projects to reach the financing, skilling and technical capacities needed for the 1.5 target and a just transition. It will also consider ways to identify and upscale the most effective and innovative green financing instruments and look at how existing technologies for mitigation and adaptation can be applied more innovatively to manage trade-offs.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Ms. Sara Maria Cognuck Gonzalez, UNICEF Climate Champion and joining Ms Vernaillen in the panel discussion will be:
- Dr. Richard Mattison, President S&P Global Sustainable1, and CEO S&P Global Trucost.
- Mr. Allen Blue, Cofounder and Vice President of Product Management, LinkedIn.
- Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, Co-Chair of UN-Energy.
About ICMIF and its pledges to date
ICMIF is the only global body that represents mutual and cooperative insurers and now, as it approaches its centenary, the Federation represents 198 organisations in 60 countries. The activities of many ICMIF members are already having real impact in the fight against climate change and during the UN panel discussion Ms Vernaillen will highlight the findings from ICMIF’s first Sustainable Investments Report in which shows that ICMIF members have over USD 570 billion invested in responsible investments such as green bonds, social bonds and resilience bonds; many of which will be targeting climate change and its effects.
In September 2014, ICMIF’s Chief Executive, Shaun Tarbuck, spoke at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York where he pledged that the entire global insurance industry would double its climate-smart investment from USD 42 billion to USD 84 billion by the end of 2015, and by a factor of 10 by 2020. A commitment which, at the time, received a lot of focus as it predicted a ten-fold increase for the global insurance sector on the amount that was currently invested. Next month, ICMIF will publish its Sustainable Investments Report showing that ICMIF members alone, which account for almost 10% of the entire insurance market, now have over USD 570 billion invested in responsible investments, achieving the commitment of the ten-fold increase as promised by Mr Tarbuck.