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Protect, Prevent, Provoke

London, UK, 19 December 2023: The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) negotiations in Dubai recently concluded, with mixed outcomes for climate-vulnerable countries, the key stakeholder group in the Insurance Development Forum (IDF). 

Throughout COP28, the IDF contributed to the discussions and advocated for the critical role of insurance in addressing the climate crisis. The IDF and its partners witnessed a groundbreaking shift in the recognition of the role of insurance in strengthening resilience and adaptation.

IDF Engagement at COP28

For the IDF, COP28 served as a pivotal moment, reflecting the organisation’s unwavering commitment to drive resilience and adaptation through leveraging insurance and its related risk management capabilities. The IDF pursued three core objectives during the conference:

Showcasing Solutions: The IDF spotlighted groundbreaking initiatives, including country-led implementations through the Tripartite Agreement, support for the Global Shield against Climate Risks, and launch of the IDF-convened Resilient Planet Data Hub. These initiatives demonstrate tangible solutions for tackling the climate crisis.

Building Partnerships: IDF representatives actively engaged in open dialogue, hosting roundtables, joining panel discussions and engaging in multiple bilaterals that fostered partnerships with governments, industry members, and partners across civil society, academia, and international organisations.

Shaping Public Policy: The IDF played a key role in shaping public policy through jointly hosting/convening over 25 events, including high-level discussions on early action, financial strategies, and partnerships for development.

This focused approach allowed us to coordinate and gather support amongst our members as part of a broader engagement of industry in the convening. As part of this journey, we were therefore pleased to be able to deliver and support the following developments during COP28: 

Risk Analytics:

  • Contributing to the operationalisation of the Global Shield against Climate Risks with the Global Risk Modelling Alliance (GRMA) programme, with Ghana highlighted as an in-country ongoing success story and sharing their experiences so far. The Global Risk Modelling Alliance (GRMA) was initiated by the IDF industry members and implemented in partnership with the Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (V20) and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This programme, initiated by the IDF and continuously supported by industry members – AIG, Aon, AXA, AXIS Capital, Convex, RenaissanceRe, SCOR, Guy Carpenter and Howden – provides access to insurance risk analytics expertise to help develop risk insight in climate-vulnerable countries. The GRMA’s work in Ghana  showcased the value of working with the IDF and GRMA to fill risk information gaps, and how risk insight can be deployed for the protection of property and livelihoods in both urban and rural regions.
  • Announcement of The Resilient Planet Data Hub (RPDH), an open, resilience data service developed by the Global Resilience Index Initiative. Founded by the IDF, University of Oxford and UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the RPDH was developed to fix the information gap in the face of climate and disaster risks under the UN headings of People, Planet and Prosperity.
  • The RPDH is a completely open resource, and is the first tangible component of the wider Resilient Planet Initiative led by the UN Climate Champions. The RPDH includes access to the Global Resilience Index Risk Viewer, a portal offering multi-hazard, globally consistent risk and resilience data under current and future climate conditions. It also offers detailed case studies to demonstrate real-world application for users in sovereign governments, financial institutions, investors and regulators.

Financial Protection:

  • Country representatives from Colombia, Ghana and Nigeria shared their experiences with the IDF, UNDP and BMZ Tripartite Programme  at different sessions during COP28, highlighting its relevance to issues from food security to disaster preparedness and more. The Inclusive Insurance Roadmap Initiative in Kenya was also showcased as part of the country-led work under the Tripartite programme.
  • The Tripartite Programme is an unprecedented partnership between the insurance industry and the United Nations. The Tripartite programme has successfully rolled out projects to scale up climate and disaster risk finance and insurance solutions for poor and vulnerable people in more than 20 countries, with expected beneficiaries of minimum 64 million, all underpinned by an offered risk-capacity of US$ 5 billion from the IDF’s insurance industry members.
  • Supporting the efforts of our public sector partners who announced commitments to pre-arranged financing, including premium financing support for vulnerable countries.
  • Engaging with the Humanitarian community and showcasing innovative programmes with START Network, and others and where insurance capabilities are being deployed and leveraged in innovative ways to reach those who are already at the forefront of the climate crisis. 

Advocacy and Engagement

In line with efforts to continue to shape policy, the IDF also supported the:  

And contributed toward the following reports: 

Key outcomes from COP28

Both in the formal negotiations and around COP28 many agreements were reached which are well covered in the media. Some of the most momentous, also in response to the expectations of developing countries, are:

  • A new agreement for the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund, supported by financial pledges of over US$ 700 million by different countries, to support vulnerable nations facing the worst of climate change impacts.
  • A new Climate Finance target  agreement reached to draft a post 2025 finance target ahead of COP29 (details to be defined)
  • Global Goal on Adaptation: COP28 saw emphasis on strategies for adapting to impacts of climate change, with a significant number of events highlighting how across sectors and industries, many through public private partnerships, have developed and implemented locally led adaptation initiatives. In addition, text was included to set targets on water security, biodiversity and health.
  • Themes: for the first time we saw food, water, health and biodiversity explicitly included in the agenda, underlining the importance of reviewing the impact of climate change on these themes.
  • Unprecedented Reference to Fossil Fuel Transition: COP28 marked a historic moment with an unprecedented reference to fossil fuels as a source for the climate change issues, reference to a just and equitable transition away from all fossil fuels emphasising the global commitment to sustainable energy sources and introducing an explicit timeframe to achieve net zero.
  • Advancements in National Commitments: The conference signalled progress in expectations for the next round of national commitments (“nationally determined contributions” or “NDCs”), highlighting a step forward in global efforts to address climate change.

Michel Liès, Chairman, Zurich Insurance, and Chair of the Insurance Development Forum, said:
“COP28 was a crucial platform for the insurance industry, and the IDF played a central role in advocating for the role of insurance in addressing climate risks and building resilience for climate vulnerable countries. Through our focus on implementation in close collaboration with public sector partners, we have built an institution that can shape policy and facilitate further engagement in climate resilience and adaptation. We have become a trusted partner for the public sector to engage with the insurance industry and drive action, the result of which was clearly felt at COP28. As the focus turns to COP29 in 2024, we remain dedicated to impactful actions that protect, prevent, and provoke positive change. We remain committed to bringing in the insurance industry’s capabilities in risk awareness, reduction, prevention and mitigation to protect our people and planet. Thank you to all those who continue to build the momentum on this journey.”

Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Secretary General, Insurance Development Forum, said:
“The progress witnessed at COP28 and the active presence of the IDF and its members is a demonstration of our commitment to continuing to drive home the urgency of resilience and adaptation, as despite these positive developments there is also the sobering reality that broader financing for adaptation has declined. This should be of concern to all of us. It is therefore imperative that the IDF and its members continue to build on the progress being made, both in terms of policy engagement and practical implementation of programmes to ensure a reversal at the next COP. 2024 presents the opportunity to do more, do better, do faster with an unrelenting focus on implementation. It presents the opportunity to act with courage and support the fundamental role of the industry in deepening global resilience and the IDF will play its part”


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Notes to Editors


About the IDF  

The Insurance Development Forum (IDF) is a public-private partnership led by the insurance industry and supported by international organisations, including the United Nations and the World Bank. 

It was established to facilitate and support the growth and development of insurance-related resources and capabilities to help achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related United Nations (UN) Agreements, collectively herein known as the U.N. Global 2030 Agenda. 

The IDF aims to optimise and extend the use of insurance and its related risk management capabilities to build greater resilience and protection for people, communities, businesses, and public institutions that are vulnerable to disasters and their associated economic shocks.  

Through its broad membership of insurance sector, governmental and other international institutions, the IDF enables: 

  • The optimal coordination of insurance-related activities; 
  • The development of shared priorities; 
  • The mobilisation of resources; 
  • The promotion of strategic and operational relationships within and between governments, industry, and international institutions; and 
  • Safeguards the integrity and effectiveness of joint efforts and collective resources. 

For more information please visit:  

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19th December, 2023