Insurance & finance sector
The insurance industry views climate risk disclosure as integral to their business. Since 2009, large insurers have filed a climate change and risk disclosure survey created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which states that “disclosure of climate risk is important because of the potential impact climate change can have on insurer solvency and the availability and affordability of insurance across all major categories.” The surveys show that the Property and Casualty sector have significant exposure to climate change risk, mainly through extreme weather events. The insurance industry invests heavily in other industries, and the surveys show that all sectors of the insurance industry have exposure through investments in companies that are part of the fossil fuel industry.
In 2010, the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) issued guidance on climate risk disclosure for publicly traded companies and, more recently, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), at the request of the G20, established a task force on climate-related financial disclosures to develop climate risk disclosure guidance for publicly traded companies around the world. The fact the SEC and FSB are requesting corporations to disclose climate change risk data indicates the growing demand by investors for information on climate change risk and reliable information on corporations' performance and operations that are material to their investments.
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Dr. John L Keller’s career in atmospheric science research & development goes back to the early 1970s. John's focus was in General Circulation Model applications. In addition to giving numerous conference and public presentations, John has published in many scientific journals, including Nature, the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences and Monthly Weather Review.
As a Senior Research Meteorologist at AIR Worldwide in Boston, John developed and implemented a model for the extreme wind climate of Northwest Europe. This model is part of AIR's "EuroCAT" modeling system, widely used by the property and casualty insurance industry to manage climate risk. Prior to joining AIR Worldwide, John was a staff meteorologist at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA. At Lincoln, he provided scientific support for the FAA's Integrated Terminal Weather System and NASA's Wake Vortex Program.
In 2005 John founded Weather Analytics, a company that provides a global geophysical database and analytical tools for managing climate risk for the Insurance industry. The intelligence community was Weather Analytics' largest early supporter and continues as its second largest. The intelligence community uses Weather Analytics' database to assess the role of climate change in the political destabilization of vulnerable regions of the world. Based on these findings, John concluded that global climate change is an existential threat, especially for young people. John believes that implementing a policy as close as possible to the Carbon Fee & Dividend proposed by Citizens' Climate Lobby gives humanity its best chance to keep climate change manageable.
Gabe Rissman has been a member of CCL for 5 years, and co-coordinates the Insurance & Finance sector team along with John Keller. Gabe is the Co-founder and President of Yourstake.org, an online petition site where individuals can sync with their 401(k) to have more power in stopping companies from behaving badly. Gabe also co-founded Real Impact Tracker, which scores the social impact of investment funds. Previously, Gabe co-led Yale's fossil fuel divestment campaign, and was the co-head of Yale's undergraduate socially responsible investment fund. Gabe thinks that investors have tremendous untapped power to push for a carbon fee and dividend.