How are banks and insurers responding to climate change risks?

  • By AB+F Editorial

In its latest Financial Stability Review, the Reserve Bank warned: “Climate change could emerge as a risk to financial stability if it is not properly managed, or if the size of climate-related losses increased materially”. 

The sector is already shifting to embrace the challenge. 

Indeed, Westpac was among the 130 banks last month to sign up to the Principles of Responsible Banking which was launched at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 

Under these Principles, the banks are now committed to aligning their business with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Signing up to the Principles is another way of demonstrating that we are serious about our role in shaping and financing a sustainable future and making a positive contribution to our society,” Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer said at the time. 

However, issues around data quality and challenges around adequate scenario modelling and disclosure remain. 

In fact, according to The Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, climate change is one of the most significant and perhaps most misunderstood risks that businesses face today.

RFi Group and Randstad together with the Sydney Environment Institute have brought together representatives from banks, insurers, academia and climate science to shed light on these issues.

The panel will assess how the industry can respond to its risks and complexities as well as gain the buy-in from their boards. 

Register here for the event. A hot-plated breakfast will be served!