Bermuda to host ocean risk summit in 2018

14-07-2017

Bermuda is to play host to a conference in May 2018 involving high level representatives of governments, the finance sector, the (re)insurance industry and other sectors, who will consider specific risks posed by changes in the world’s oceans caused by climate change and other man-made impacts.

According to organisers the Ocean Risk Summit is the first of its kind and will focus on how governments and the business sector should respond to the risks of existing and projected changes in the ocean which until recently have been poorly understood.

The summit is being sponsored by XL Catlin along with other scientific and Bermuda based partners. These include the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Ocean Unite, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, Bermuda Business Development Agency and the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

The planned summit comes in the midst of rising concern from global governments and businesses about the threats related to changes in the oceans. Last month saw the first-ever United Nations Ocean Conference in New York to discuss the implementation of an ocean-specific sustainable development goal. The upcoming COP23 climate change negotiations are expected to focus more than ever on ocean issues.

The summit will showcase the latest research on the complex and often interrelated changes taking place in the ocean and their potential impacts. For example, ocean temperature increases caused by climate change are leading to rising sea levels and an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones, thus escalating the impacts of storm surges, coastal flooding, inundation and erosion. One recent estimate suggests that the expected cost of hurricane damage to Miami alone is set to increase from $255 billion in 2020 to $3.5 trillion in 2050.
Other ocean related risks to be considered include the geopolitical and economic impacts of Arctic sea ice loss, threats to regional food security from overfishing and pollution, as well as the human cost of the spread of tropical diseases from water borne viruses. The summit will provide expert data and analysis to help businesses and governments identify their potential exposure to these and other ocean risks.

XL Catlin’s CEO Mike McGavick said: “The insurance industry should be at the forefront of helping economies prepare for the consequences of climate change. Ocean risk means looking at all the ocean-driven implications – not just the societal and environmental - but the geopolitical, legal, economic and regulatory perspectives too. We have a responsibility as an industry to drive understanding of how to increase resilience, but also to help those communities that are severely underinsured and less able to adapt to ocean specific risks.”

The Ocean Risk Summit will take place in Bermuda on the 9-11th May 2018.

Bermuda, Reinsurance, Insurance, Ocean Risk Summit 2018, XL Catlin

Bermuda Re