From the June 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

June 1, 2008

Heating Up the Discussion

While industry trade groups are opposed to the mandatory disclosure requirements of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) Climate Risk Disclosure Proposal, groups such as Ceres, the Center for Economic Justice, and the Natural Resources Defense Council support them. At the February 28 meeting of the NAIC's Climate Change and Global Warming Task Force, consumer representatives also expressed their support, citing a "low response rate of current public disclosures from domestic insurers;" the need for more transparency, the better to identify risks; and a need to take action now, to mitigate future problems.

While trade groups cite everything from liability issues to the "impossibility" of quantifying the effects of climate change, David Snyder, vice president of AIA and assistant general counsel, believes there is much to be gained from discussion with NAIC on related issues: "How are we going to work together to reduce greenhouse gases and unnecessary risk, regardless of the source of those exposures?" he asks. This, he feels, is a very important part of the process--discovering "very fruitful activities we can and should engage in."

The discussion promises to be interesting, with another working group meeting having taken place in May and a quarterly meeting scheduled for June.

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