RiskReport highlights importance of climate science in risk awareness

Report highlights importance of climate science in risk awareness

With risk assessment a vital part of treasury and cash management functions, and climate change increasingly being recognized as a key risk to business, a new report investigates what role new approaches to risk modelling could have in safeguarding the economy.

In the insurance industry, catastrophe risk modelling has already revolutionised how risk is assessed and managed. And according to think tank The Geneva Association, the value of catastrophe risk modelling could be further enhanced by integrating data from climate science and emerging technologies.

The report ‘Managing Physical Climate Risk: Leveraging Innovations in Catastrophe Risk Modelling’ presents an overview of the latest developments and opportunities inherent in the so-called Cat models. It provides recommendations for enhancing Cat modelling, which could enable stress testing and risk analysis under different climate change scenarios, as well as supporting new climate insurance product and service offerings.

According to Maryam Golnaraghi, director, Extreme Events and Climate Risk at The Geneva Association, “Building on the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, increasingly more sectors are considering physical climate risk in their core business and investing methodologies.

“Cat models, if properly conditioned to climate change scenarios, could be utilized to understand the impact of weather-related risk on assets, operations and investments, and to develop risk management measures to address such risk.”

Increasingly more sectors are considering physical climate risk in their core business and investing methodologies.

In light of the investment gap in infrastructure, Cat models could be extended to assess and mitigate extreme weather risk across the life cycle of infrastructure projects. This could enhance infrastructure climate resilience and offer additional risk transfer and investment opportunities.

Furthermore, the next generation of Cat models should embrace a systems-based thinking, by connecting them with other modelling systems such as those applied in economic analysis, the water-food-energy nexus, and infrastructure and health systems.

This could result in better understanding of feedback loops and cascading effects within and across sectors, and lead to improved policymaking, planning and risk management decisions.

Anna Maria D’Hulster, secretary general of The Geneva Association, commented: “Cat modelling is more relevant than ever. As the effects of climate change become more severe, the insurance industry must keep up with market demand and anticipate future changes through the advancement of risk analytics.

“Cat models can assist insurers and policymakers develop a thorough understanding of the costs and implications of catastrophe risk. Few sectors of the economy play a role as intense in catastrophe recovery as insurance; therefore, the industry should strive to continually strengthen the predictive power of its Cat modelling capabilities.”

The research report builds on experiences and insights from leading international experts from catastrophe risk modelling firms, the scientific and academic communities, international development practitioners and the (re)insurance industry.

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