Willis Group spearheads climate change summit

PUBLISHED: 10:09 02 July 2014

Dominic Casserley, of Willis Group.

Dominic Casserley, of Willis Group.

Russell Harper Photography

Global insurance broker Willis Group has spearheaded a key summit to help tackle the threat posed to emerging economies by natural disasters and climate change.

What is the Willis Research Network?

The Willis Research Network provides direct connection between leading scientists and the insurance sector to better protect people and companies against extreme events.

It aims to give public and private organisations a better understanding of risk, while giving insurers access to scientific research so they can deliver effective financial protection.

The WRN’s five research pillars include: Regulation & Public Policy, Economic Capital, Natural Hazard and Risks, Man-made Risk & Liabilities, and Core Technologies.

The EDP Top100 company has joined forces with the World Bank, the United Nations, leading charities and corporations to hold focused debates with the aim of minimising the impact on trade from extreme weather conditions.

The subjects included: flood resilience through big data – a focus on a digital elevation model that will enable flood risk assessment and protection for coastal and flood plain communities throughout the world; resilience through regulation – an exploration of the “1/100” initiative, which seeks to battle risk by giving companies the ability to report on their exposure through a 1 in 100 year stress test; and the development of the UN R!SE initiative – The United Nations’ first private sector partnership that brings together business and communities to make investments risk-sensitive.

It comes as the EDP announced earlier this week that it would offer funds from its Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal to help people in Hemsby near Great Yarmouth that suffered at the hands of flash flooding on Friday last week.

Dominic Casserley, chief executive of the Willis Group, said: “We know that stronger companies make stronger communities, providing society with better resilience in an increasingly risky world. Bringing together the worlds of capital, science and policy is the only way we can address the disaster risk that is playing a bigger part in human life than ever before.”

The presentations and debate, held yesterday at the London Guildhall, featured: Fiona Woolf, The Lord Mayor of London, Rachel Kyte, Vice President and Climate Change Envoy, World Bank, the energy minister Greg Barker MP, David Bull, Executive Director, UNICEF UK and Rebecca Moore, Development Head, Google Earth.

Rowan Douglas, chief executive of Willis Group’s Capital, Science and Policy Practice, said: “To bring global charities such as UNICEF alongside modern-day corporate giants such as Google and Airbus, the best minds in the insurance industry, major global institutions such as the OECD, WMO and the World Economic Forum and a whole host of others from science and academia, provides us with a unique opportunity to align interests to translate ideas into urgent action.” To apply for money from the EDP flood appeal, contact Great Yarmouth Borough Council on 01493 856100

Do you have a business story for the EDP? Contact business writer Ben Woods on 01603 772426.

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