It's the Environment, Stupid.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Insurers get into Green Building

A new report from Allianz Group and WWF, "Climate Change and Insurance: An Agenda for Action in the United States" has made some interesting, and practical policy recommendations, which bring together insurance companies and green building.

The report lays out the current climate change science, uses case studies, predictions and other scenarios in examing the resulting economic implications, specifically in regard to risk of damage due to forest fires, flooding and other natural disasters.

The report recommends that insurers use incentives to influence 'green' policy and land use development to reduce insured losses, and to protect the consumer.

For example, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company will provide a discount to LEED certified buildings, and damaged product replacements will be upgraded to 'greener' or more energy efficient counterparts - roofs, windows, lighting systems etc.

Additionally, losses from natural disasters can be avoided by better spatial planning, such as "better forest management that simultaneously decreases risks from wildfires, mudslides, and floods, while sequestering carbon, or conservation of mangroves,which also sequester carbon while providing a natural buffer from storms, surges,and waves."

The report concludes that with better understanding of the potential effects of climate change, governments and insurers will be better able to evaluate and communicate risks that will increase preparedness and reduce losses in the event of future catastropic events.

Download the report (pdf)


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