Topic: Climate Change

European Insurer Issues Press Release Addressing the Impact of Climate Change on Claims

German insurer Munich Re issued a press release stating that while 2009 saw fewer natural catastrophe losses than 2008, the number of natural hazard events was above average.  Munich Re reports that economic losses totaled $50 billion and uninsured losses totaled $22 billion in 2009, as compared to $200 billion in economic losses and $50 billion in uninsured losses in 2008. 

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SEC and NAIC Take Affirmative Steps To Address Corporate Disclosures Regarding Climate Change

On October 2, 2009, as part of the 48th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute held at Northwestern University School of Law, SEC Commissioner Elisse B. Walter gave a speech entitled “SEC Rulemaking — ‘Advancing The Law’ To Protect Investors.”  In her speech, Commissioner Walter touched upon the SEC’s recent work with respect to climate change disclosures, and her belief that climate change is a very serious issue. 

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Climate Change as a Risk Facing Insurers Drops in Importance

The financial crisis has transformed the risk landscape for insurers and their focus on key risks.  A recently published survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation in association with PriceWaterhouseCoopers indicates that climate change is “[l]osing its urgency as an insurance risk.” 

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PERILS AG: European Catastrophe Data Company Established

A group of European insurers and reinsurers, including Allianz, AXA, Munich Re, Swiss Re and Zurich, have established PERILS AG, based in Zurich, to collect and provide industry-wide European catastrophe insurance data. PERILS is intended to provide a service similar to that provided by Property Claims Services (PCS) in relation to US catastrophes. 

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New York Attorney General Reaches Agreement With Energy Company To Require Disclosure Of Financial Risks Of Climate Change To Investors

In a press release dated August 27, 2008, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced what is claimed to be the first-ever agreement requiring a company, Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) (“Xcel”), to detail financial liabilities related to climate change.  The Office of the Attorney General reports that the agreement comes at a time when many power companies are investing in new coal-burning power generation that will contribute to global warming emissions. 

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