NGOs call on insurers to champion a 'green recovery' from pandemic

International non-governmental organizations supporting the Unfriend Coal campaign have urged insurers to champion a green recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a letter to insurance industry associations, 25 NGOs from 11 countries said that the industry was fully aware of the risks of global pandemics years ago, but did not do enough to ensure governments prepared effectively. The NGOs warned the industry not to make the same mistake now that they recognize the climate emergency.

In a 2013 Towers Watson survey, insurance executives identified a “new, highly infections and fatal pandemic” as the world’s greatest potential threat. In a 2019 Willis Towers Watson survey, insurers identified climate change as the greatest threat.

The letter called on insurers to address the COVID-19 and climate crises together by working to ensure that economic stimulus plans are consistent with limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendations.

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