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Insurers and long-term savings providers have an integral role to play in helping society be as resilient as possible to the impacts of climate change. Firms are investing in new technology, adapting their own operations and working to support customers in the face of a changing climate

Our Climate Change Roadmap: Helping Society Adapt

Our sector has a vital role to play in helping the customers and stakeholders that we work with adapt to a changing climate – helping them take action to reduce emissions, mitigate the impact of temperature rises and become more resilient to the effects of a changing climate.

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Our industry has an important role to play in accelerating the path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.  In 2006, Aviva became the first major insurance company to be carbon neutral, and have reduced their operational carbon footprint by 66%, from a 2010 baseline. Since then, they have significantly reduced their underwriting exposure to coal to almost zero. In 2019, Aviva UK exited underwriting the standalone operational fossil fuel power market and became a founding signatory of the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Their renewable energy insurance package supports companies with windfarms, solar power, and battery storage. A member of the UN Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance committed to ensuring net-zero emissions across their investment portfolios by 2050, they announced a 2050 net-zero target for their auto-enrolment default pension funds.

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Zurich Insurance Group

Adaptation is a core part of our members’ action plans to build resilience in communities to cope with the future impacts of climate change. Zurich has expanded its specialised Natural Hazard Risk Engineering capabilities and was the first insurer to add a dedicated natural-hazard assessment to its standard property risk engineering assessment services to help customers with practical implementation of risk mitigation and adaptation measures. They also launched Climate Change Resilience Services in 2020 to help businesses better prepare for current and future risks related to climate change. This service allows Zurich to offer mitigation and adaptation solutions for weather events and climate effects, including wildfires, windstorms, floods, and rises in temperature and sea level. It also helps clients to implement sustainability measures at site level and withstand risks, highlighting the importance of our members in collaborating with other sectors to build resilience across the UK.

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How the ABI is working to adapt to flood risks 

Flooding is the greatest natural disaster risk in the UK and insurers have been calling for greater investment in sustainable flood risk management and flood defencesIn response to the significant 2019/20 winter flooding in South Yorkshire, insurers paid out more than £540million in claims. Under some future scenarios, by the end of this century, there is a risk that the severity and frequency of extreme weather events makes large parts of the country and world uninsurable – fundamentally threatening the insurance business model. With 1 in 6 properties in the UK already at flood risk, the ABI is working to accelerate the industry’s response through a focus on adaptation and mitigation.

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