Climate change: Insurance not a safety net for all, says ActionAid

ActionAid’s statement on insurance at COP23 climate negotiations

Today at COP 23 two new insurance initiatives (a Clearing House on Risk Transfer under the UNFCCC, and the InsuResilience Global Partnership - an initiative promoted by G20 and G7) were launched, with the goal of providing vulnerable countries with insurance to manage climate risks. 

Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change for ActionAid International says:

“Insurance might turn out to be a piece of the puzzle, but we can’t pretend that it’s a safety net for everyone. Insurance does sometimes help people who are impacted by floods or cyclones. But it won’t be an option for those facing certain losses. Private companies are unlikely to sell insurance to those facing rising sea levels.

"All this fanfare about the Clearing House on Risk Transfer is actually just about a 'matchmaking' website that can help private companies meet more clients. 

“It’s unclear at this stage who will pay for the premiums. Will poor people in vulnerable countries, who have done nothing to cause the climate crisis and who bear the brunt of its impact, need to pay for climate insurance? And will these communities fall deeper into poverty as a result?

“In some ways, it’s ironic. On one hand, developed countries aren’t allowing UN climate talks to make any progress on the issue of climate finance. But at the same time they’re putting effort and money into initiatives that will mainly help private companies to profit from selling insurance to the poor.”

Editors' notes

For more information or to request an interview or briefing, please contact Ravneet Ahluwalia on +44 (0) 7850 312438 or ravneet.ahluwalia@actionaid.org  

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