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Firms, UN Collaborate To Drive Sustainable Insurance

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Leading African insurers and reinsurance companies have collaborated with the United Nations under the auspice of United Nations Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) to drive economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The event which held in Lagos on Monday focused on three basis themes: Closing the Risk Protection Gap, Resilient Cities, Sustainable Food Systems and Agriculture.

Speaking at the event, group managing director and chief executive officer of Continental Re plc, Dr. Femi Oyetunji said “As risk managers, the insurance industry has an important role to play in making communities and economies inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

“The recent devastation wrought by Cyclone Idai, and now Cyclone Kenneth, is yet another wake-up call for the urgent need for action and collaboration to better manage risk and support sustainable development.

“We joined the United Nations Principle for Sustainable Insurance in 2012 because at Continental Re, we believe it is in our interest the world is protected. As insurers and reinsurers, it is in our interest that we ensure that the risk that we undertake are not deteriorating risk.’’

Oyetunji said for a sustainability movement to be established in Nigeria, the insurance industry will need to engage with government and the regulators. “We have already spoken to our colleagues in the insurance industry, we will like to drive it so we can begin the conversation of setting up a small team that would drive the agenda and make the necessary engagement” he added.

Also speaking, the leader of the PSI initiative at UN environment, Butch Bacani, said: “The world is facing an increasing number of sustainability challenges from climate change, environmental degradation, and pollution to social inequality, financial exclusion and major health risks.

“This is why world leaders have committed to delivering prosperity for all on a healthy planet through global goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In this context, we are delighted that the African insurance industry is working together and demonstrating the leadership and ambition needed to drive sustainable development.”

John Melville, chief underwriting officer, Santam Insurance, said: “Sustainability issues such as climate change and environmental degradation are leading to diverse, interconnected and complex risks, but also present new opportunities for collaborative action to mitigate risk and improve physical and financial resilience.


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