Prince Charles to speak to insurance industry about climate change

10.08.2007

The Prince of Wales is to speak at the Association of British Insurers' (ABI) third Climate Change Conference.

The conference itself will focus on how climate change is affecting weather patterns and increasing costs. The theme of the conference is especially germane given the recent flooding that hit the UK, which the ABI estimates will cost insurers in excess of £3 billion with over 50,000 claims.

Besides the speech from Prince Charles, who recently visited the areas affected by flooding, the conference will see the launch of a new industry climate change initiative from the insurance sector, developed in co-operation with the Prince of Wales's Business and the Environment Programme.

The ABI conference will also see the publication of research showing how the industry can help promote climate-friendly behaviour by homeowners and businesses.

Prince Charles's Business and the Environment Programme has been working with the insurance industry since December last year, when the prince hosted a working lunch for chief executives where it was agreed to set up further co-operation to tackle environmental issues.

Jane Milne, head of property insurance at the ABI, said: "The floods of the last five weeks remind us of the devastating impact of severe weather on people's lives and livelihoods. We must address the consequences, as well as the causes, of climate change."

Speaking on the publication of a parliamentary report on the climate change bill last week, she added: "The climate change bill offers a unique opportunity to ensure sustained, government-wide action to tackle the increased incidence of flooding, storm damage, subsidence and heatwaves that climate change will bring."

One of the key recommendations of the report was for regular reports to parliament on the climate risks we face and the measures government and local authorities have in hand to deal with them.

The Climate Change Conference takes place on September 13th and other speakers will include ABI chairman Archie Kane, Shell UK chairman James Smith, and Peter Hubbard, chief executive of AXA Insurance.