SDG 13: Climate Action
14% of the population of the world lives in Sub Saharan Africa. That same population only contributes 2% of the global carbon emissions. Yet, our population remains the most vulnerable to climate change. Despite all this, only 3% of climate financing makes its way to Africa. Most national catastrophes remain uninsured and the only way to protect our population is through preparedness, risk management and insurance.
(Delphine Maidou, AIO at the 16th Consultative Forum on Climate and Disaster Risk organised by the A2ii - IAIS - MiN and AIO in 2019)
Climate change is an extraordinarily complex topic - but its most visible and immediate effects can be seen in natural disasters. Developing and emerging countries, as well as lower-income communities globally, are often most exposed to and suffer the most damages from it. Furthermore, they have fewer resources available to repair and rebuild their life after a catastrophic event.
Insurance can strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities. However, particularly in the case of disaster risks, it needs to be part of an integrated disaster risk management framework and therefore cannot be achieved by the government, the industry or the regulator alone.
The art of collaboration is the only way to move the conversation forward into systemic solutions. Who are the stakeholders and what is their role in closing the protection gap? It is the government, the regulators and supervisors and the industry together.
Government is the anchor to disaster risk mitigation. They oversee climate policy and national disaster response strategies. They own much of the disaster and climate data that is necessary for developing risk management solutions and are responsible for educating the public on how to prepare for and respond to disasters – which can and should, include insurance.
The industry holds expertise in risk management. By putting this knowledge to good use, whether in the form of designing good insurance products, investing in more sustainable infrastructure or sharing their expertise with the public sector – they can play a key role in building more financially resilient communities.
Supervisors can play a crucial role in reducing the insurance protection gap with respect to climate risks
Supervisors wield critical influence firstly by enabling innovation in their market. Through appropriate product approval and reinsurance requirements, allowing deployment of new technology such as AI and Big Data, by developing sound insurance markets - they pave the way to letting new insurance solutions emerge.
As watchdogs for financial stability and consumer protection, they ensure that these solutions are offered in a responsible and sustainable way.
Finally, they can also stimulate demand and appetite for such solutions through financial literacy efforts or by making policymakers aware of the potential of CRI and liaising to ensure that interventions are valuable and sustainable.
A2ii work on SDG 13
The A2ii-IAIS Dialogue presented key insights from the joint A2ii-UNCDF paper on “Index insurance best practices for insurance regulators and practitioners in the Pacific Island countries”. A recording is available.
These best practice regulatory guidelines, published in partnership with the UNCDF Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme (PICAP), are a step in the right direction to better regulating and encouraging index insurance-based solutions to build the capacities of insurance supervisors and regulators to create enabling market conditions for successful inclusive insurance interventions.
♦ A2ii-IAIS-SIF training module on Supervision of climate-related risks in the insurance sector (November 2021). The newly launched training module ‘Supervision of climate risks in the insurance sector’ is a result of collaboration between the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the UNDP Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF). It aims to support supervisors with integrating climate risk considerations into their regulatory frameworks and show how supervisors can work with insurers to highlight the climate change impact on businesses and portfolios. It includes the Bank of England’s Case Study from the Prudential and Regulatory Authority on integrating climate change risks into the UK’s supervisory framework.
In 2019, three dialogue forums were jointly organised in Latin America, Africa, and Asia by the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), Microinsurance Network (MiN) and InsuResilience Global Partnership, supported by local partners.
Video recordings, reports and presentations can be found here:
15th Consultative Forum, 7 May 2019, Panama City, Panama
16th Consultative Forum, 12-13 June 2019, Johannesburg, South Africa
17th Consultative Forum, 4 November 2019, Dhaka, Bangladesh
This consultation call took place on 30 January 2020 and was based on A2ii's thematic report: The role of insurance supervisors in climate risk insurance. The call provided highlights from the thematic report and explored the role of insurance supervisors in building resilience and reducing the protection gap with respect to climate risks.
Presentations from the call and the report in English, Spanish and French are available on the event page.
Insurance supervisors have both good reason and the means to take active steps to promote resilience against climate risks and natural disasters, particularly amongst the low-income and underserved population. This is from the perspectives of carrying their mandates as local regulators, as well as stakeholders in achieving international goals relating to DRR, CCA and the SDGs. The topic of supervisory roles in this regard is not yet explored at depth. Therefore, this paper aims to contribute to the discourse by sharing ideas and stimulating discussions as to what the roles of supervisors can be.
This call took a closer look at the IAIS and Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF) “Issues Paper on Climate Change Risks to the Insurance Sector." An overview of the impacts of climate change on the insurance sector including current and future risks, and potential supervisory responses were explored. Supervisors on the call also got to hear concrete examples of observed practices in different jurisdictions.
Presentations and the report from the call in English, Spanish and French are available on the event page.
As a follow-up to the 2018 Issues Paper, and recognising the important role of the TCFD Recommendations9 in establishing a framework for climate-related disclosures for the insurance sector, the SIF and IAIS agreed to develop this second Issues Paper. This paper provides an overview of practices that supervisors have considered in the development of climate-related disclosure requirements within their markets. Considering the diversity of supervisory frameworks across jurisdictions, this paper focuses on practices that can be implemented with limited direct regulatory intervention. In the convention of IAIS Issues Papers, this document is primarily meant to be descriptive and is not intended to create supervisory expectations. However, the speed at which supervisory practices relating to climate risk are evolving, both within individual jurisdictions and through collective activities of supervisors, reflects the need to consider responses at the global level. In this context, the SIF and IAIS recognise the value of developing further materials to support supervisors in their efforts to assess climate risks, including in relation to the ICPs. This paper is a step towards this objective, and is intended to lay the groundwork for the development of future work, such as an IAIS Application Paper.