A few years ago it seemed as if there were lots of opportunities everywhere to make money with climate change. But as time goes on, it is increasingly becoming apparent that the heydays for many in Europe are just about over.
By Sebastian Lüning, Fritz Vahrenholt
The Zurich Insurance Group is closing the climate office it had opened in 2008, a Zurich spokeswoman confirmed to E&E Publishing. Over the past several weeks and months Zurich Office Director Lindene Patton had been actively promoting the idea of the climate catastrophe to the US Senate. Patton had also co-wrote the US National Climate Assessment, which flopped completely thanks to the alarmist tendencies of her colleagues.
Apparently the Zurich has slammed on the brakes because the lobbying efforts closely tied to the IPCC are no longer getting acceptance from the public and parts of US politics. In general the insurance business is suspected of using extreme weather warnings to peddle their products to customers and to justify high premiums.
The following is an excerpt of an article by Evan Lehmann of the E&E News Platform dated 27 June 2014 on the closure of the Zurich climate change office:
Leading insurer to close its climate change office, leaving the industry ‘mute’
Zurich Insurance Group is closing its U.S. climate change office six years after opening it to help persuade companies to press public officials for solutions to climbing disaster losses, according to several sources. The move seems likely to end a high-profile advocacy effort that exposed federal lawmakers to the financial concerns of a major insurer regarding rising temperatures. Some observers also say the closure stands to lessen an industry voice that might resonate with Republicans in a debate that’s often characterized as driven by Democratic ideology. Zurich’s decision comes amid a flush of visibility for the office and its director, Lindene Patton, who in recent months helped write the National Climate Assessment, testified before a Senate panel and spoke at the White House. In some circles, that has distinguished Patton as an unusually credible advocate for climate action who speaks from the suit-and-trouser world of the financial sector, where crunching numbers outpaces environmental ideology. One observer described her as a “dynamo.” […]
When Zurich announced its ‘climate initiative’ six years ago, it was an effort, in part, to rally other members of the massive industry to get involved in shaping public policy. It warned of worsening climate risks that foretold of more than just sharpening damage from floods and storms: The industry also faces increased pressure from regulators and, in the eyes of customers, reputational risk if it doesn’t act, the company said. […] ‘The internal meaning could be that they don’t want to stick their neck out, that they want to be less visible with regard to climate change in general,’ said Walter Stahel, director of risk management research at the Geneva Association, a Swiss think tank funded by the insurance industry. ‘And they want to break it down into much more concrete [efforts] to impose adaptation measures.’ […] A Zurich spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the climate office is being closed.”
Continue reading at E&E News.
Already in autumn 2012 the Deutsche Bank closed its analysis department for the impacts of global warming.