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Risk transfer and climate insurance at the local level

Wednesday, 17 February 2016, 15:00 - 16:00 CET

The insurance industry is an important stakeholder in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction due to its extensive experience in risk management—from identifying, assessing, preventing and reducing risk (e.g. catastrophe risk modeling, land use planning, building codes), to financial risk transfer (i.e. insurance). Financial risk transfer in the form of insurance and other risk financing solutions provide economic security to local governments and communities and safeguards sustainability efforts against weather-related disasters. Examples include catastrophe insurance, micro-insurance, social safety nets, and municipal budget reserves for disasters.

This webinar will explore risk reduction and risk transfer strategies for cities through a global expert opinion and a local government view. 

Butch Bacani, Programme Leader of the UNEP FI Principle for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI)—the largest collaboration between the United Nations and the insurance industry— discussed the work of the PSI, particularly research and activities relevant to building climate and disaster-resilient cities and communities. These included the PSI Global Resilience Project led by IAG and the AXA-PSI global survey report on how cities and SMEs are building climate resilience. Download his presentation here

Lykke Leonardsen, Head of Climate Unit from the city of Copenhagen shared the city’s experience in risk reduction and risk transfer through insurance. Lykke discussed the benefits and limitations of risk transfer strategies in the form of insurance for cities. Download her presentation here

Speaker biographies: 

Butch Bacani, Programme Leader, The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), Geneva, Switzerland

Butch’s role is focused on developing and executing the global strategy and work program of the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative - the largest collaboration between the UN and the insurance industry. Butch is leading PSI activities supporting key UN global policy frameworks that were agreed in 2015—the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction—and is championing the idea of producing a set of Insurance Development Goals. He is a member of the expert group that developed the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Resilience Initiative (A2R), which was launched at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21). 

Together with the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System and insurance regulators, Butch is co-leading the creation of a Sustainable Insurance Policy Forum. From 2014-15, he co-led a global consultation on insurance policy and regulation and industry practices, which delivered a 2030 global roadmap to harness the full potential of the insurance industry for sustainable development. In 2014, he became the insurance lead of the expert group working with the Chinese government on policy initiatives to green China’s financial system. At the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Butch led the global research, consultation and drafting process that produced the PSI. From 2006-10, he led UNEP FI’s insurance and investment programmes, including its activities with the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative. Prior to the UN, Butch was in the insurance industry for over a decade and worked with leading insurers and rei-insurers worldwide. 

Lykke Leonardsen is the Head of the Copenhagen Climate Unit in the Technical and Environmental Administration. The unit is responsible for all the climate activities in Copenhagen covering the mitigation agenda of making Copenhagen the first carbon neutral capital in the world by 2025 and also covering the city’s work on adaptation and storm water management.

Lykke Leonardsen has worked for the city of Copenhagen since 1997 and has been involved in several fields of urban development giving her a wide experience in social, physical and environmental issues that are all part of the development of the city. She has been working on the adaptation plan for Copenhagen since the very beginning and during that time the adaptation work has developed from the very early ideas on how climate change might affect the city up until now where the city is working on implementing a city wide plan that is also recognized internationally and last year won the Index Design Award for its novel view on an urban future where the effects of climate change are handled as an integrated part of the urban design.

She is also in charge of the waste water management planning of the city – which also includes storm water management and the quality of the water in the harbor. The city through its ambitious work since the early 1990’s has improved the water quality in the harbor so that it is now of such a high quality that it is possible to swim in.