Friday, July 01, 2005

Financial sector warns on costs, others still in denial

Two major reports published yesterday have forecast massive potential costs from damage caused by floods, storms and heatwaves resulting from global climate change and called for immediate action from governments and the financial industry to act.

The first report, from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), predicts that within 75 years worldwide costs of storms could increase to €22 billion (£15 billion) per year, costs of flooding in Europe could rise by €122 billion (£82 billion), and insurance capital required to cover storm damage could rise by €64 billion (£43 billion).

The second, a joint report from the WWF and Allianz Global Investors, warns that the financial industry must take these risks into account and that a clear political framework at international level is essential.

Meanwhile, however, the gulf between the United States and the rest of the G8 on climate change is as wide as ever, reports the UK's Guardian. The US continues to be the only country refusing to acknowledge the link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

The Washington Post published an editorial two days ago full of misleading statements and sweeping generalisations, claiming that Europeans are doing nothing to reduce emissions, and that in order to do so, they would have to stop using electricity and driving cars. This is nonsense, and it completely ignores the raft of new legislation that Europeans are enacting. While the author has a right to express his opinion, the Post should consider whether it is appropriate to publish rather offensive editorials, which fuel misunderstandings between the Europe and the US, and between the US and the rest of the world.

Additional source:
  • Euractiv