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Climate change remains top of insurers’ worry list

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Climate change remains a top concern for insurance companies, even as the Russian invasion of Ukraine stokes geopolitical and energy-related fears within the industry.

Global warming is seen as the biggest risk to society in the next five to 10 years for the second year in a row, according to a report released on Sunday by French insurance giant AXA SA. Geopolitical instability, which ranked fourth last year, has risen to second place.

Global warming is considered the greatest risk to society in the next five to 10 years for the second year in a row, according to AXA report. The study names companies that are at the forefront of the plastic supply chain and make polymers.

“It is clear that uncertainties have increased and continue to increase,” Axa deputy chief executive Frederic de Courtois told a news conference. The current economic and geopolitical crisis creates an “anxiety-inducing environment,” he said.

Single-use plastics, such as bottles, bags, and food containers, are the most commonly discarded type of plastic. They are made almost exclusively from fossil fuels and often end their short life cycle by polluting the oceans, burning or being dumped in landfills.

“It is clear that uncertainties have increased and continue to increase,” Axa deputy chief executive Frederic de Courtois told a news conference. The current economic and geopolitical crisis creates an “anxiety-inducing environment,” he said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted war-related risks, with 77% of 4,500 insurance professionals surveyed in 58 countries believing that rising tensions could lead to a new era of world wars. Still, those risks remained less of a concern for insurers, which are among the biggest losers from climate change as rising global temperatures exacerbate physical catastrophes from wildfires to floods.

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As European countries are working to secure enough power to get through the winter after Russia halted gas deliveries, energy-related risks are also emerging as a concern for insurance professionals. Those risks, which were not among the industry’s top 10 risks in the past four years, are now his fourth biggest concern.

“Europe should use that as an opportunity to go to a mix that is more sustainable and also gives them long-term competitiveness,” Axa Chief Executive Thomas Buberl said in an interview on Bloomberg television.

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