Canada: Insurance companies push cities to take climate action
By Sarah Lawrynuik
As the impacts of climate change are felt, more extreme weather events—including droughts and more frequent floods—will come. And with those changes come mounting risks and costs.
Who will be left shouldering that financial burden?
Insurance companies want to be sure it’s not them. So they’re changing how they operate in light of climate change.
“Insurance companies are saying ‘you better make a plan,’” [Dick] Ebersohn [manager of Calgary’s climate and environment department] said. “Certain major insurance companies are saying, ‘We will not insure you if you don’t have plans in place.’”
[Maryam] Golnaraghi [director of extreme events and climate risks at the Geneva Association] explains that climate change has pushed the insurance industry in Canada to start working much more closely with governments at all levels. At the municipal level, it means a focus on how zoning is handled in high-risk zones.
“When something gets flooded year after year after year, how can you expect an insurance business to be there for them?” Golnaraghi said.