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Call for COP23 support new Clearing House for Risk Transfer

Friday, November 10, 2017

The UN Climate Change secretariat on Wednesday called on delegates at COP23 to come and support a new online window to help vulnerable people find affordable insurance and solutions to avoid risk from disasters like floods and droughts — the Clearing House for Risk Transfer.

The system's artificial intelligence means that the more people who use it, the better it becomes!

The Clearing House, developed by the secretariat, uses cutting edge technology by which seekers of insurance, including individuals, can contact experts who will help them find ways to reduce the risks they face. A key objective is to put them directly in touch with a provider of appropriate insurance that matches their economic needs.

It is due to be launched on November 14 and during the UN Climate Change Conference delegates are invited to test out and explore the system in the Bonn Zone in the Global Action Area from November 9 to 15.

When disaster strikes, most often due to extreme climate impacts, having the means to recover quickly makes the difference between survival and despair, sometimes life and death.

Unfortunately, most developing countries and many poor people in developed countries, do not have such means. They lack the needed resources to rebuild lost livelihoods and infrastructure.

Recognising this, the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference committed to establishing a Clearing House for Risk Transfer.

A global partnership of the G7, G20, and the 20 most vulnerable nations, called the V20, is contributing to the initiative. Together with the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism, this wide partnership aims to bridge the demand of vulnerable countries for comprehensive climate risk solutions with the supply of experts, academia and other risk management experts worldwide.

Insurance, or risk transfer in broader terms, is a key tool to manage the increasing impacts of climate change and needs to be much more readily available to vulnerable people, communities and countries.

The majority in many developing countries are not insured at all and when disaster strikes, often their entire livelihoods are washed away. In this sense, climate change impacts such as floods, storms or droughts often undo years' worth of development gains and throw people back to square one. This effectively keeps them locked in a vicious cycle of poverty and a struggle for survival.

RISK TALK is a highlight feature of the Clearing House. RISK TALK is an online community and open to anyone who needs to know more about risk transfer. In the community, people can find answers to the questions they send in and get to know others who can help.

RISK TALK employs artificial intelligence, so the more questions that are asked and answered, the better the system can refer questions to the right experts.

The Clearing House is also a repository of information on insurance and risk transfer, including case studies, knowledge products and tutorials that help show how risk, such as from climate impacts, threatens sustainable development and offers solutions to reduce that risk.

Everyone can submit relevant information so that everyone else can tap in to the growing wealth of available knowledge.

The Clearing House for Risk Transfer has been developed by the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts. RISK TALK has been developed by the InsuResilience secretariat in collaboration with the executive committee.

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