Earth Science News  





. Lloyd's Insurance Boss Demands Action On Climate Change

"We cannot risk being in denial on catastrophe trends. So, two years after Katrina and one year away from a national (US) election, where's the public debate on catastrophe trends?" Peter Levene, chairman of the Lloyd's insurance market, said. "Over the coming years, with warmer sea surface temperatures making wind-storm landfall more likely, particularly destructive storms are a likely scenario." Photo courtesy AFP.
by Justin Cole
Washington (AFP) Jan 12, 2007
Governments and businesses must act now against climate change, and the United States needs a bigger public debate about its risks, the chairman of the Lloyd's insurance market said Friday. Peter Levene warned that vast storms bigger than Hurricane Katrina are likely to batter the United States in coming years despite a relatively calm 2006 Atlantic hurricane season.

"Today the insurance industry faces the prospect of a 100-billion-dollar mega-catastrophe twice the size of Katrina," Levene said in a speech at Washington's National Press Club.

Levene, formerly a skeptic on climate change, runs the world's biggest insurance market at London-based Lloyd's.

Lloyd's manages some of the world's most complex insurance risks, from celebrity body parts to oil rigs, and extends billions of dollars in global coverage.

The market expects to pay out six billion dollars in claims related to the record-setting 2005 US hurricane season, largely due to the devastating impact of Katrina on southern states like Louisiana and Mississippi.

Levene said Lloyd's is planning for fresh disasters, but questioned whether US lawmakers are seriously heeding the dangers posed by climate change.

"We cannot risk being in denial on catastrophe trends. So, two years after Katrina and one year away from a national (US) election, where's the public debate on catastrophe trends?" he said.

"Over the coming years, with warmer sea surface temperatures making wind-storm landfall more likely, particularly destructive storms are a likely scenario."

The insurance market chief called for tougher US building codes in coastal areas and said public awareness should be raised about the risks of more volatile weather patterns.

"We can expect the storm season to lengthen, and we will be at risk over a wider geographical area than ever before."

Levene argued against "political interference" in the pricing of risk premiums and expressed confidence that most "natural perils" can be insured if free market forces are allowed to prevail.

However, large US home insurers including State Farm and Allstate are refusing new business along wide stretches of the US east coast amid mounting concerns about bigger hurricanes.

Allstate is not issuing new homeowner policies in New York, where millions of people live just above sea level, and some insurers are refusing to pay Katrina claims, arguing that damage was caused by flooding instead of wind.

Generally, only the federal government offers US homeowners insurance against flood damage.

Levene criticized US regulations which he said discriminate against foreign insurers, requiring them to post collateral equal to 100 percent of their gross liabilities. In Lloyd's case this equates to over eight billion dollars.

"Domestic reinsurers have no such obligation," Levene chafed, calling for such "discrimination" to be ended.

The administration of US President George W. Bush has abandoned the Kyoto Protocol against climate change, but Levene said many state and local governments were working to reduce their own carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Levene said addressing climate change is good for the environment and a company's earnings, citing an initiative by US chemical group DuPont to slash its emissions of warming gases and lower its energy costs.

"Even if we stop all man-made CO2 emissions now, we would still endure 30 years of warming before the effects take hold," Levene said.

"But we must not use that as an excuse not to act. History and future generations will surely not forgive us if we do."

The Atlantic hurricane season typically runs from June to November.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Lloyds Of LOndon
A world of storm and tempest
Learn about Climate Science at TerraDaily.com

Nigerian President Calls For International Action On Climate Change
Accra (AFP) Jan 13, 2007
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has called for international assistance to help Africa deal with the devastation caused by climate change. Speaking at a conference on German-African partnership in the Ghanaian capital Accra, Obasanjo called late Saturday on all nations to adhere to international protocols the environment.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • NGC Tool Designed To Save Lives And Protect Property During Severe Weather
  • Japan And US Working On North Korea Emergency Plan
  • USJFCOM Bringing Together Multiple Agencies For Multinational Experiment 5
  • Congress Says FEMA Reform Lagging

  • Lloyd's Insurance Boss Demands Action On Climate Change
  • Nigerian President Calls For International Action On Climate Change
  • Climate Protection Tops EU Plan
  • Melted Sea Ice Absorbs Carbon Dioxide Offsetting Some GW Impact

  • QuikScat Shows Rough Seas And Atmospheric Conditions At Time Of Two Java Sea Disasters
  • Japanese Scientists Discover Huge Undersea Lava Plateau
  • Northrop Grumman To Develop System Requirements For USAF Alternate Infrared Sat System
  • Digitalglobe Announces Ball Aerospace Is Building Worldview 2 Satellite

  • Indonesian And China Sign Bio-Fuel Deal
  • ICP Solar And Coleman Products Announce Launch Of Remote Solar Charger Line
  • Ted Turner Launches New Clean Energy Business Venture
  • Honeywell Awarded Unique Solar Project

  • UN Body Says EU Ban On Wild Bird Imports Won't Help Stop Bird Flu
  • AIDS Plan Faces Deadly Deficit
  • Avian Flu Unlikely To Spread Through Water Systems
  • Zimbabwe Plans Huge Increase In AIDS Drugs Rollout This Year

  • Scientists Discover New Life Forms In The Arctic Ocean
  • Largest Flower Evolved From Family Of Much Tinier Blooms
  • Mystery As Hundreds Of Birds Fall From Sky In Australia
  • Research Finds Urban Sprawl Not So Bad For Wildlife

  • Unlocking Pollutants' Effects
  • Stricken Ship On Collision Course With British Gas Rig
  • Fires Fuel Mercury Emissions
  • China Fast Becoming Biggest Electronic Waste Dump On Earth

  • Earliest Evidence Of Modern Humans In Europe Discovered By International Team
  • Hybrid Embryos Legal; Licensing Deferred
  • What Memories Are Made Of
  • Cancer-Killing Invention Also Harvests Stem Cells

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement