As the world prepares to ratchet up international negotiations during COP26, editorially we continue to highlight and support the work of actuaries and others who are contributing to the bold thinking required to solve the climate change problem – and this issue of The Actuary is no different. As Louise Pryor said in her presidential address, climate change isn’t a risk, but a certainty.
That said, it is important not to be seduced by doomism or exaggerate the threat to such a level that no action can be seen as meaningful. The neat slogan used by some climate change communication experts to summarise the position is: “It’s real; it’s us; experts agree; it’s bad; there’s hope.” It is an enormous challenge, but also a huge opportunity for insurance firms, their consultants and regulators to ensure our profession is actively supporting the drive towards a net-zero world.
This month we interview James Dyke, who warns about relying on fictional, future and unproven technologies to reach that net-zero target. The core policy elements to get there should rely on viable solutions that keep fossil fuels in the ground, he argues.
Finance will play a key role in climate solutions and decarbonisation, particularly investments in renewable energy sources and storage; David Hunter’s cover article suggests some practical approaches for those investing in these sectors.
Lucy Saye, Melissa Leitner, Shyam Gharial and Thrinayani Ramakrishnan tell us about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the link between climate action and poverty eradication.
A systems thinking approach will be required when integrating policy developments from COP26 to understand and mitigate adverse effects of inequality, they say – and the conference is an opportunity for policymakers to keep this on the agenda.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Dan Georgescu Editor