20 September 2019News

AXA leads initiative to manage ocean risk

AXA is among a group of global institutions to have launched an initiative to build resilience to ocean risk in the communities and regions most affected by the changes to the ocean.

The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) was launched at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit. It brings together the insurance and finance sectors, governments and environmental civil society organisations. AXA was among the founding institutions of the initiative.

ORRAA will pioneer ground-breaking finance and insurance products that unlock investment in coastal resilience; accelerate research to better understand and manage ocean risk; and inform policy, governance and public understanding.

An increasing number of hazards are resulting from ocean heating such as extreme storm events, sea level rise, acidification and bleaching. Risk multipliers including overfishing, marine pollution and habitat destruction combine with these hazards to pose wide-ranging threats to the most vulnerable coastal communities. Investing in green infrastructure therefore makes economic and ecological sense, said ORRAA.

Denis Duverne, chairman of the board of directors of AXA, said: “Ocean changes have widespread implications for the lives and livelihoods of billions of people. Protecting and regenerating coastal natural capital is critical, and the finance and insurance industries have a key role to play in reducing the exposure and vulnerability of coastal communities and ecosystems. From micro-insurance products for loans incentivising sustainable fishing to a Blue Carbon Resilience Credit giving a carbon and resilience value to mangroves, ORRAA’s outputs will be designed to be replicated across regions exposed to the impacts of ocean changes.”

ORRAA’s other founding members include Ocean Unite, the Global Resilience Partnership, and the Government of Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told last month’s G7 meeting that Canada will provide initial support of more than CAD$2 million to help build the Alliance.