Damage from Extreme Weather Events – the Insurance Industry saw it coming!

Two months ago, we commented on the extraordinary amount of damage caused by successive hurricanes hitting the Caribbean Islands and the US Southern States.  There is no doubt that the increased severity of these “natural” events is a result of global warming.

The world-wide insurance industry has for many years warned of this possibility.   Four years ago, an industry association warned that these consequences could be so severe that the fiscal health of the international insurance industry itself may be at risk.

“There is new, robust evidence that the global oceans have warmed significantly,” said John Fitzpatrick, secretary general of The Geneva Association. “Given that energy from the ocean is a key driver of extreme events, ocean warming has effectively caused a shift towards a ‘new normal’ for a number of insurance relevant hazards”.

We took note of a further observation by Fitzpatrick:

“This shift is quasi irreversible—even if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions completely stop tomorrow, oceanic temperatures will continue to rise.”.

How ironic that just yesterday the World Meteorological Association (a UN Organization) issued a public statement that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed last year (2016) to hit a level not seen for more than three million years.

 “Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event,” according to The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN weather agency’s annual flagship report.”

Effective implementation of The Paris Accord is practically our last chance of avoiding climate change disaster. Our Federal Government is aware of this reality.  Unfortunately, there are many interests, both political and commercial, in Canada who wish to minimize the implementation of our Paris Commitment.

Our task – and the task of all environmental associations –  is: we cannot let this happen!

 

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