Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy, leads Calvert’s Sustainability Research Department and oversees its company research and analysis as well as its policy and advocacy work. From 2003 until early 2006, he led global communications and public relations firm Burson-Marsteller’s Global Corporate Responsibility practice advising multinationals on policy development, stakeholder engagement and communications strategies related to human rights, labor rights and sustainable development. During the Clinton Administration he served in three positions as a presidential appointee in the State Department, most recently as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999 to early 2001.
“Calvert Investments has been working on the issue of climate change for quite some time,” said Bennett Freeman in his interview for the GAIN Insight series.
More specifically, Freeman said upwards of a decade has passed since Calvert began seriously including climate change as a part of the investment conversation.
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, right, was asked about the top global geopolitical risks and adaptation was one of five mentioned in discussions at the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Summit 2012 in Dubai, UAE.
“Recent studies indicate that climate change is taking place faster than originally thought. Climate change poses both immediate and long-term threats to the life-support systems upon which all people depend – food, water, habitat, health, ecosystem services and critical infrastructure such as energy, transport and coastal protection. Meanwhile, market opportunities for “green” technologies are growing, such as renewable and efficient energy that help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, as their costs come down and they offer attractive investment possibilities.”
World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Climate Change
Frank Nutter, Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) President, has held his role at RAA since 1991. He currently serves on the Board of the International Hurricane Research Center; the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, and adjunct to the Harvard University Medical School; the Council of the American Meteorological Society; and the Board of the University Center for Atmospheric Research sponsored by the National Science Foundation. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the OECD’s International Network for the Financial Management of Large Scale Disasters and has served on the Board of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences.
Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN): Tell us about the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA).
Frank Nutter, Reinsurance Association of America President: The Reinsurance Association of America represents reinsurance companies that conduct business in the United States. Reinsurance companies insure insurance companies. They don’t deal with consumers at all, but they really become part of the capital financing mechanism for the industry. And, one major segment of what the industry does is provide financial support for insurance companies for natural catastrophe – earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, large events that have multi-billion dollar consequences for consumers.
It is fairly common that 50 to 60 percent of those losses by insurance companies have probably been insured by reinsurance companies. So, if you take Hurricane Katrina for example, something like 60 percent of the losses that the insurance industry paid were ultimately born by reinsurance companies.
Karl Schultz is co-founder of the Higher Ground Foundation, a not-for-profit company dedicated to creating a market for climate adaption investment in developing countries. Higher Ground Foundation’s vision is a voluntary market for climate adaption projects, where projects earn climate vulnerability reduction ‘credits’ that can be bought and sold, similar to the voluntary carbon market’s verified emission reductions (VERs). The concept is attracting global interest, with a number of partnerships forming with development agencies, NGOs, scientific bodies and private companies. Schultz has started several businesses, including Climate Mitigation Works and Energy Edge, and co-founded Green Gas International, a clean energy technology and investment company now with over 450 employees around the world. Prior to that, he managed domestic and international climate programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Submitted by: Higher Ground Foundation
The Need for Adaptation Investment in Developing Countries
Climate adaptation finance is critical for many reasons. While everyone will be impacted by climate change, it will be the poor in developing countries most vulnerable to changes. With a lack of financial and technical resources, they will struggle to protect themselves from a growing number of threats, including more frequent and intense storms, droughts, sea level rise and the migration of vector-borne diseases. The estimated costs of adaptation extend to hundreds of billions per year. As a result, the international community has set a target of US$100 billion annually to fund both mitigation and adaptation.
Emerson Resende is a climate change specialist with a background in private sector sustainability, energy management and the built environment. Passionate about environmental businesses and sustainable solutions, Emerson worked in Latin America and Europe for six years before joining the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat in 2010 in Germany to support the intergovernmental process on climate change adaptation. He is co-leading the Private Sector Initiative of the Nairobi work programme and responsible for designing and developing a programme to engage the private sector on climate change adaptation issues. The Global Adaptation Institute had the opportunity to ask Resende questions about his experience working with the Private Sector Initiative.
GAIN: When and how did the program come about?
U.N. Private Sector Initiative: The Private Sector Initiative (PSI) is part of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. It was created in 2009 in response to a mandate from the Parties of the Climate Change Convention to engage stakeholders including those from the private sector in strengthening the support to developing countries in order to raise awareness to the need of adaptation and also to assist countries in making informed decisions on practical adaptation actions and measures.