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Global Climate Change in the Wider Context of Sustainability


  • Walter R Stahel

    () (The Geneva Association, 53, rte de Malagnou, Geneva 1208, Switzerland.)


Over the last few years, the political discussion on global change has become focused on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and anthropogenic CO2 emissions into the wider context of sustainability. This broadens the view and changes the focus to issues of global ethics and the necessity for industrial countries to drastically reduce their resource consumption. Insurance companies can influence global climate change (GCC) directly through their investment and underwriting strategies, but also in daily operations. An overview and examples are given in the paper. The biggest impact insurance might have is in helping to speed up the adaptation to GCC, for instance by making available its pool of knowledge in prevention measures through risk engineering services. By promoting a stricter application of the concept of “insurability of risks”, politicians could exploit the link between insurance, technological innovation and sustainable development to develop numerous opportunities within the market economy. A rapid adaptation to the challenges of GCC will give industrialised countries a competitiveness pull, or enable less developed countries to leapfrog industrialised countries. But the key to a new vision of the future may be the development of a holistic view of nature, man and climate, and science and technology as a source of innovative ideas and solutions. The Geneva Papers (2008) 33, 507–529. doi:10.1057/gpp.2008.21

Suggested Citation

  • Walter R Stahel, 2008. "Global Climate Change in the Wider Context of Sustainability," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 33(3), pages 507-529, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:gpprii:v:33:y:2008:i:3:p:507-529

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