How insurance industry can help fight climate change

The cost of climate inaction are high and already hitting the economy hard. Jim Malewitz at Stateline reports on the role the insurance industry can help reduce loses by addressing climate change:

“Losses over the past few decades have become unsustainable,” says Julie Rochman, who heads the Insurance Institute for Businesses and Home Safety, a nonprofit that conducts research for the industry. “Way too many people are suffering irreparable damage…way too many people are losing their lives. We have to do something.”

In 2012, the country’s warmest year on record, U.S. insurers were on the hook for almost $58 billion in losses, including as much as $25 billion from Superstorm Sandy, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That storm alone cost nearly as much as the average annual insurance loss in the entire United States over the previous 12 years.

That came on top of a bad year in 2011, when the federal government declared a record number of disasters and insured losses reached about $35 billion.

Climate deniers and fossil fuel loyalists often use costs of addressing climate as an argument for inaction, but the insurance industry can be a strong ally in making the business case for tackling this global crisis. I guess if preserving a habitable planet for the sake of humanity doesn't do it for you, some sober accounting from insurance actuaries may do the trick.

Read the rest.

(ᔥ Andrew Sullivan)

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