Letter from Louise Pryor and Simon Jones, Chair and Deputy Chair of the Resource and Environment board.
Hilary Salt in The Actuary, March issue implies that the complexity of dealing with a risk, in this case climate change, makes it acceptable for that risk to be ignored in the provision of actuarial advice. We disagree.
Risks do not vanish just because they cannot be readily translated into the language of actuaries, or accommodated neatly within the tools that actuaries use on a day-to-day basis. It is therefore incumbent on both the profession to support its members in grappling with the challenges which issues such as climate change and resource constraint may throw at us in the years ahead, and on individual actuaries to continue to educate themselves on evolving areas of risk and its implications for actuarial work.
As a starting point, we would point members in the direction of various practical guides to considering climate change in actuarial advice produced by the IFoA's Resource and Environment Board. Existing guides cover various aspects of pensions advice. Similar reports for life insurance, general insurance and investment actuaries are in preparation.
We believe these guides help actuaries to start considering how to integrate climate issues into their advice. While they don't provide all the answers, they create a foundation for further work that will maintain the profession as a leading voice in considering such complex, long-term risks.
Louise Pryor and Simon Jones, Chair and Deputy Chair of the Resource and Environment board
19 March 2019
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