Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Climate change taken seriously by government, insurers

Doubters of the science on climate change and its effects on the nation and in the Pacific Northwest should be chastened by the third U.S. National Climate Assessment that the White House released this week.

It’s noted as the most comprehensive scientific assessment of climate change and its effects. Changes in snowmelt, more wildfires, rising sea levels and more findings are included in the assessment about the Northwest. The news is sobering.

But as Gov. Jay Inslee notes, efforts are being made in Washington to mitigate climate change -- reducing carbon emissions, investing in renewable energy, boosting fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and constructing buildings that use less power, among other things.

The insurance industry long ago determined that climate change is real, as noted most recently in the 2013 climate risk survey of over 1,000 insurers in Washington, California, Connecticut, Minnesota and New York.

Commissioner Mike Kreidler is chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners working group on Climate Change and Global Warming. This group regularly reviews how climate change affects insurers and the way they do business.

While Commissioner Kreidler maintains a continuing focus on reforms to the nation’s health care system, he’s also been a longtime advocate of protecting the environment for future generations. Insurance has a role, as he mentions in an article he wrote for the United Nations.

Read more about Commissioner Kreidler's work with climate change.