As countries gear up to finalize a new climate agreement in Paris, the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) celebrates its 10 year anniversary. Working on the ground with climate vulnerable communities, MCII brings lessons learned and practical expertise on implementing insurance to policy makers and governments.
The impacts of climate change are felt around the world, for many people it means experiencing more destructive storms, floods and droughts. While some communities, regions or countries are able to take precautionary steps to protect themselves against extreme weather events, low-income groups are often without adequate protection.
“In regions where high exposure to climate shocks meet low income groups, MCII aims to provide a buffer for vulnerable communities. Our goal is to provide a financial safety net to catch low-income individuals when they are affected by an extreme weather event,” said Dr. Peter Höppe, Chief Scientist and Head of Geo Risk Research/Corporate Climate Centre at Munich Re.
Since launching 10 years ago as a think tank, MCII is now operational in three countries in the Caribbean (Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grenada) where it launched two insurance policies (one for individuals and one for financial institutions) and initiated the integration of microinsurance into national legislation. MCII is also currently partnering with the government of Pakistan to assess the viability of a risk insurance programme for vulnerable communities.
“As countries are implementing climate change adaptation measures post 2015 we want to highlight that climate risk insurance complements physical adaptation, while enhancing economic growth and poverty reduction” says Dr. Koko Warner, MCII Executive Director. “MCII employs insurance as part of a comprehensive risk management strategy which includes access to credit and financial inclusion. This means that people are not just receiving payouts, they are also receiving the holistic support they need to be more resilient in the face of climate change.”
This year the world will take great strides towards addressing climate change. The post 2015 development agenda, a new climate agreement and the new international agreement on disaster risk reduction, will pressure countries to find new ways to protect their vulnerable communities and build resilience.
“MCII’s research work highlights how risk management and insurance can advance climate change adaptation, especially for those most vulnerable to climate change“ says Christoph Bals, Policy Director of Germanwatch. “This expertise comes at a crucial time when policy makers and governments are looking for practical solutions for implementing adaptation measures. It is time to find viable pathways away from the climate change cliff. “
For 10 years the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) has been working to introduce insurance solutions to the world’s most climate vulnerable communities. The initiative represents an unprecedented partnership between some of the world’s largest (re)-insurers, academic think tanks and regional financial institutions. MCII is hosted at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).
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