Climate Change: Institute Public Policy Statement

An updated Policy Position statement on climate change has been launched on the Institute website here following endorsement by Council at its September meeting.

The updated statement reflects the growing contribution Australian actuaries, and the profession globally, have made in recent years to this significant public policy issue. It is also streamlined, as today’s greater level of climate risk awareness allows us to focus on our positions more than defining the problem. Achievements and other milestones since the previous policy position statement in 2015 include, for example:

  • the Paris Agreement in December 2015 and Australian ratification in November 2016;
  • acceptance by the G20 of the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures Recommendations in June 2017 and subsequent practical implementation, including by Australian companies;
  • deeper and broader engagement of Australian financial regulators in climate change issues, especially APRA with its stance soon to move from educational and encouragement to regulatory requirements; and
  • establishment and active participation of the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) in public policy discussions.

 

Policy Statements provide a ‘go to’ point for media and other external stakeholders to quickly understand the Institute’s position on a topic of public policy importance.

The updated statement includes three policy positions.

  1. The Actuaries Institute supports the goal of 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change to limit temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by the second half of the 21st Century.
  2. The Actuaries Institute supports the development of public policy to improve resilience against climate physical risk and natural disaster risk and the implementation of adaptation measures to reduce Australia’s vulnerability to climate and disaster risk.
  3. The Actuaries Institute seeks to promote a well-informed public debate on responses to climate change, and to support actuarial contributions to the development of effective responses to climate change.

 

Further detail and references supporting these positions are provided in the statement.

Notable contributions by Australian Actuaries this year alone include:

 

The effort to update this statement and move it through the Institute’s approval process was driven by Sharanjit Paddam, who led the CCWG for many years and recently stepped down. We are all in Sharanjit’s debt for his tireless work and strong leadership on climate issues.

The CCWG, which I am proud to have recently become Convenor of, is always keen to hear from members interested in volunteering. To do so please contact me at rmusulin@sprynet.com or actuaries@actuaries.asn.au.

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