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IDF at the UN Climate Summit in New York

UN Climate Summit, New York 2019

In Focus: The UN Climate Summit

The United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Summit, New York, 2019

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. This is was the central message of the UN Climate Summit in New York, 21st-23rd September 2019, at which the Insurance Development Forum was proud to have played a role in the unprecedented levels of private sector participation ad leadership in the climate agenda.


IDF, UNDP and BMZ Tri-Partite Initiative Announced

On the eve of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, at an event attended by high-level executives and leaders in the space from both public and private sectors, the IDF, UNDP and BMZ launched their Tri-Partite initiative, kick-starting a series of significant, globally-coordinated commitments aimed at increasing climate change resilience for the most vulnerable countries.

IDF meeting of membersThe commitments contribute risk management expertise and capital to rally global players towards a substantial scale-up in the use of pre-arranged risk finance and insurance mechanisms as part of global resilience and adaptation ambitions in line with the InsuResilience Global Partnership ‘Vision 2025’. It includes provision of cover against disaster and climate shocks to 500 million individuals, as well as an increase in the percentage of annual climate and disaster losses covered by risk finance and insurance.

The event, hosted on Sunday 22nd September at AXA Equitable, titled Insurance, Risk Financing and Development: Driving Public Private Action for Climate Resilience hosted senior representatives from a number of public and private sector intuitions and governments from around the world, including:

  • Prime Minister of St Lucia – Hon. Allen Chastanet
  • Minister of Environment and Minister to the President, Marshall Island – Hon. David Paul
  • Minister of Finance of Barbados - Hon. Ryan R. Straughn
  • Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development – Hon. Dr Maria Flachsbarth,
  • The Chairperson of the African Risk Capacity – Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
  • The Governor of the Bank of England – Mark Carney
  • Chair, AXA Group & IDF Steer Co – Denis Duverne
  • Administrator, UNDP – Achim Steiner IDF members signing a document
  • CEO of Willis Towers Watson – John Haley
  • Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme - David Beasley
  • CEO, Global Environment Facility – Naoko Ishii
  • Director General of BMZ of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development - Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven
  • UK Permanent Secretary for International Development – Matthew Rycroft
  • Executive Vice President and CEO, MIGA, World Bank Group – Keiko Honda
  • Chairperson, Swiss Re Global Partnerships – Veronica Scotti
  • CFO of Mercy Corps – Beth de Hamel


Keynote remark was delivered by The Governor of the Bank of England – Mark Carney.

Full details in the IDF press release: UN Development Programme, Germany, UK and Insurance Development Forum announce commitments to increase insurance protection in climate-exposed countries in line with the InsuResilience Vision 2025 goals

United Nations press release: Efforts to make communities safer from climate change to be launched at Climate Action Summit include insurance, early warning, and investment in small-scale farmers

Bank of England press release: At the UN Climate Action Summit, the Governor talks about the importance of a sustainable financial system


Group meetingGlobal Resilience Partnership: Building A Resilient Future Event 

An event to communicate and catalyse the ambitious and transformative actions needed to build resilience.

‘Building a Resilient Future’ was a one-day, open event held in advance of the UN Climate Action Summit (UNCAS) to reinforce the focus on resilience and the commitments expected to be made at the summit on 23 September and complement the Resilience and Adaptation track’s official event for Member states held at the UN Headquarters on the same day (22 September).

Convened by Global Resilience Partnership and sponsored by UK’s Department for International Development with additional support from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, it boasted attendance from countries and organisations from across the globe. The IDF was proud to be a partner organisation for the event, alongside a wide range of other institutions.

IDF Chairman Denis Duverne spoke on the Opening Plenary of the day alongside Tomasz Chruszczow (Special Envoy for Climate Change and High Level Champion for COP 24, Ministry of Environment, Poland), Violet Shivutse (Director and Chair of the Huairou Commission), Naoko Ishii (CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility), Fatema Sumar (VP of Global Programs at Oxfam) and Bisola Temitope (Slumdwellers International) to bring an industry perspective to the day’s most pressing resilience questions.

The Building A Resilient Future event agenda consisted of seven sessions:

  1. The Intersection of Climate and Conflict Risk: Accelerating Action to Achieve Resilience
  2. Stepping up Actions to Build Resilient Food Systems
  3. Empowering Resilience Programming in Action: Leveraging Capacities, Knowledge and Tools
  4. Accelerating Resilience Through Scaling Nature-based Solutions
  5. Early Warning, Early Action to Leave No One Behind.
  6. Financing for a Resilient Future
  7. Resilient Cities, Infrastructure and Energy Systems: critical to transformative change


The IDF co-hosted the 6th session, ‘Financing Resilience’ alongside Willis Towers Watson

The session aimed to showcase current efforts and launch new initiatives to increase the volume, quality, and coordination of finance for adaptation and resilience from the public and private sectors, and explore innovative technologies, tools, and finance mechanisms in the current climate landscape.

Crucially, this session looked to challenge ‘business as usual’ practices to help empower local actors to access a comprehensive, complementary suite of finance solutions that allow for holistic, comprehensive adaptation strategies. We explored how the different perspectives in climate finance can come together to reform and improve the current flows of finance to the local level, addressing vulnerabilities and insuring adaptation for all.

The session embraced a ‘whole of society’ approach to deliver resilience to people, communities and economies in the face of a changing climate. This included an examination of processes, actions and responses led by:

i) the state
ii) private sector / enterprise
iii) civil society

Hosting organisations: Insurance Development Forum and Willis Towers Watson

Co-hosting organisations: IIED, GRP, Clarmondial, World Bank Groud, SEI, Atma Connect, WFP, ODI, GARI/ The Lightsmith Group, InsuResilience Global Partnership, SDI, Mercy Corps, Huairou Commission, Centre for Disaster Protection