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.
James McManus has a broad background in Earth Science and Information Technology. Over the course of his career, James witnessed the development of the World Wide Web from its beginnings, along with the continued development of geospatial technologies and their application in the earth sciences. When Hurricane Andrew, one of the most devastating Category 5 storms on record, struck the US Gulf Coast in 1992, he was working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, archiving data of model and satellite imagery used to study climate change. After Andrew, which left lives lost and over $26.5B in damages, insurance companies sought out NASA to consult on climate data. Subsequently, James also began to work with companies, universities, local, state, and federal agencies, as vigilance and recognition of climate impact grew significantly after Andrew. James believes that Citizens’ Climate Lobby's direct focus on Congressional is one of our best hopes.