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NASA’s new Earth System Observatory guides efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes – including helping to better understand Category 4 to 5 hurricanes such as Hurricane Maria, shown here in a 2017 thermal image captured by NASA’s Terra satellite. Credit: NASA

Climate Change

Insurance Companies Getting Very Concerned About Climate Change (Again)

Record-breaking climate disasters will be the name of the game this century. We’ve already seen dozens if not hundreds of climate disaster records broken since 2000, but we haven’t seen anything yet, as they say. The following decades are going to see superstorms, immense fires, Mars-like droughts, Biblical floods, and who knows what else? That’s enough to shut a sane person down psychologically and send them looking for cat videos on YouTube. (Actually, are cat videos still a big thing?)

However, the insurance industry doesn’t have the luxury of blocking such things out. The insurance industry has to dig in, forecast what’s coming, run some fancy math, and put a price on risk — plus a handsome markup, of course. Insurance companies need to somewhat accurately estimate how much they will have to pay to fix or rebuild houses, businesses, and whole cities demolished by larger hurricanes than any human has ever seen, by floods that go well beyond “100-year” flood levels every few years, by wildfires that destroy cities and towns (even ones named “Paradise” and “Malibu”), and by other unpredictable “natural” disasters. It’s enough to give a person heartburn.

“Climate change has surpassed insurance companies’ concerns over diseases and pandemics, according to a new report released yesterday by French insurance company AXA,” Nexus Media writes. “The report, which surveyed 3,500 insurance professionals, showed that global warming ranked number one among insurers’ biggest concerns.” You don’t say?

“Climate risks have been on insurance companies’ radars for some time: climate worry also was at the top of the survey in 2018 and 2019, but the recent IPCC report illustrated how widespread and destructive climate-related disasters already are and will continue to be if the world does not rapidly reduce fossil fuel combustion while scaling up global resilience and adaptation efforts. The survey also found that more than four-fifths of the professionals surveyed lack faith in governments to combat the crisis.” The only surprising thing for me there is that one-fifth of those professionals think governments will do what’s needed. But then again, what percentage of people won’t get vaccinated for COVID-19, are willing to try horse dewormer they bought off Amazon, and don’t understand that the person who go the most votes in US history is now the fair and legal president of the United States? If 2020 and 2021 have shown us anything, they’ve shown us that humans can be especially talented at detaching themselves from reality.

The insurance angle of the growing climate crisis seems like one of the biggest stories to cover and dig deeply into, yet it is seldom mentioned — including here on CleanTechnica, where our focus is the interlinked climate and pollution crises and all good solutions to those crises. In the coming months, we will go further into this topic and perhaps generate a report of our own on it. If you have any top resources or insights to share, drop them down in the comments under this article or via our contact form if you prefer to share privately.

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Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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