Policy ForumClimate Change

The Greening of Insurance

Science  14 Dec 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6113, pp. 1424-1425
DOI: 10.1126/science.1229351

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Every sector of the economy telegraphs climate risks to its insurers. In turn, climate change stands as a stress test for insurance, the world's largest industry, with U.S. $4.6 trillion in revenues, 7% of the global economy (16). Insurers publicly voiced concern about human-induced climate change four decades ago (1). I describe industry trends, activities, and promising avenues for future effort, from a synthesis of industry progress in managing climate change risk [see supplementary materials (SM)].