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XL Catlin at COP 21: Sharing the insurance industry's views at climate change conference

Mike McGavick, XL Catlin CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Geneva Association, has expressed the (re)insurance industry’s support of climate resilience and disaster risk reduction under the proposed anticipate, absorb and reshape (A2R) Framework.

Speaking on behalf of the International Insurance Society and the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation on the opening day of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties in Paris, an annual forum to address climate change on a global political level, Mr. McGavick told world leaders: “I am pleased to be able to highlight our industry's enthusiasm for the potential of the A2R framework. As we work urgently to prepare the world's people for the impacts of climate change, it is obvious that much of the resilience work ahead is right in our industry's wheelhouse.

“Today, far too few of the world's people benefit from the resilience offered by risk sharing and transfer schemes. Our industry funds scientific research and works with governments to adopt advanced building codes and land use practices. Our products increasingly replace failing infrastructure with sustainable solutions, including efforts to use natural ecosystems where man made weather defenses fall short. We also create products to accelerate the financial viability of alternative energy.  I offer my personal commitment to work with you to ensure that the best of what our industry can offer is brought forward.”

Mr. McGavick also announced that the insurance industry will join policymakers in the launch of an initiative to reduce the impact of natural disasters and climate change in emerging markets. 

The initiative, called the Insurance Development Forum, will be co-chaired by XL Catlin’s Executive Deputy Chairman Stephen Catlin.

Mr. McGavick said: “The forum is a joint effort of partners such as the UNDP, the World Bank and member governments, who will convene adjacent to next year’s IMF-World Bank Spring meetings and UN General Assembly. It is hoped this forum can help accelerate A2R efforts.”

His comments follow the recent announcement that eight Lloyd’s syndicates, including XL Catlin’s, have joined forces to develop new solutions to help developing economies tackle underinsurance and improve their resilience against the economic impact of natural catastrophes.

The eight Lloyd’s syndicates have committed capacity of US$400 million towards solutions that address natural catastrophe risks in emerging and developing economies. Key to its effective deployment will be well designed risk sharing initiatives and the diversification of risk.

Mr. McGavick is one of several XL Catlin representatives speaking at the COP21 conference.

XL Catlin’s activity at COP 21:

Later this week Tom Hutton, Managing Partner and Director of XL Innovate, an XL Group plc (“XL) sponsored venture capital initiative, will participate in a panel discussion titled “Investing in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy”.

Slated for December 3, the discussion will explore ways in which innovation in policy, regulatory, product development and market-based approaches could provide incentives for emissions-reducing behavior.  As an integral part of a comprehensive strategy for climate risk management, the session will also look at the potential contribution of insurers to supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy through their investment allocation and product design and related hurdles and opportunities.

XL Catlin, which supports climate-related scientific surveys in the world’s oceans, during the conference will host several events about its survey program and the risks faced as a consequence of ocean warming and other changes.

On December 3, XL Catlin’s Head of Aquaculture, Geir Myre, will take part in a panel discussion titled “The Impacts of Ocean Warming and Other Stressors”. The discussion will explore the scale, impacts and consequence of ocean warming, outlining the importance of science in informing policy. 

On December 5, XL Catlin will co-host an Evening for the Ocean event focused on the Great Barrier Reef and the future of reefs worldwide. The evening will start with a panel discussion by broadcaster and author Sir David Attenborough, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, Director General of WWF Marco Lambertini, oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle and Catlin Seaview Survey Head of Science Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. It will be followed by a special screening of Sir David’s latest film on the Great Barrier Reef.

Mr. Catlin, who will represent XL Catlin at the Evening for the Ocean event, said: “We have been backing scientists looking to better understand how climate change is impacting on our oceans for the last 7 years. In that time scientists have consistently highlighted changes which are risks for society and business. We recognize that how global climate change impacts local weather, including extreme events, is much more uncertain. That is why we’re supporting scientists to collect further data.

“Our industry has valuable skills in assessing future risks which can help businesses and policymakers to take action to reduce the consequences of climate change.” 

XL Catlin will also sponsor a new report: Explaining ocean warming: causes, scale, effects and consequences with the aim of highlighting the significance of climate related changes to the oceans. The report, produced in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is expected to be published during 2016. 

About XL Catlin

XL Catlin is the global brand used by XL Group plc’s (NYSE:XL) insurance and reinsurance companies which provide property, casualty, professional and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises throughout the world.  Clients look to XL Catlin for answers to their most complex risks and to help move their world forward. To learn more, visit

About XL Innovate

XL Innovate is an XL sponsored venture capital initiative focused on making investments in companies with businesses that address the world’s most complex risks and ensuring the relevance of the insurance industry today and into the future. XL Innovate seeks to invest in companies that strive to create opportunities outside of the traditional underwriting space by finding ways to underwrite currently uninsured risks. To learn more, visit


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