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The Great Warming and The Greening of the Reinsurance Industry
Alex Steffen, 25 Dec 04

The Great Warming is a new documentary series tackling climate change, coming this April to the Discovery Channel. It looks pretty good:

"We are living at the dawn of a new epoch. Year by year, degree by degree, Earth is growing warmer... a legacy of the Industrial Revolution, population growth, and our addiction to technology, speed and power.

"Just as other generations spoke of a Great Plague and a Great Depression, our children will be compelled to endure The Great Warming - and find a way to conquer its consequences.

"Filmed in eight countries on four continents, endorsed by dozens of the world's leading scientists, this three-hour television series is the most factually accurate, visually stunning and wide-ranging production ever mounted about this complex, fascinating subject."

Interesting sidenote: the project is sponsored by Swiss Re, the giant reinsurance company.

Swiss Re's CEO John Coomber knows that embedding sustainable practices and thinking in the company's daily business will strongly enhance its credibility for dealing authoritatively with risk: “I am personally convinced it will bring long-term rewards and a real sense of pride in the global leadership position our company has staked out.“

“I think you know that Swiss Re is committed to being a socially and environmentally responsible company,” says Coomber. “Because of that, we're taking a leadership role by putting strategies in place that will deal with the risks (and the opportunities) of our changing climate.” In 2003, Swiss Re launched an initiative to become greenhouse neutral – the largest global financial services company to do so to date. The initiative will mean a voluntary 15% reduction in Swiss Re's present emissions by direct measures, mainly by further improving energy efficiency. The remaining 85% will be offset by investing in "clean development mechanism” instruments as described in the Kyoto Protocol.

The world is becoming uninsurable, indeed.

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