Update from the PSI Secretariat: PSI and UNEP Inquiry consultation on insurance regulation and sustainable development goes global, as PSI membership grows

28 January 2015
Our global membership of PSI signatory companies and PSI supporting institutions continues to grow.

We are nearing 80 members, with insurers representing approximately 15% of world premium and USD 9 trillion in assets under management.

Recent members include (Italy), (US), (Korea), (UK), (UK), (Italy), , a member of the World Bank Group (US), (US), and (Australia).

To all these organisations, welcome to the PSI Initiative. And we are expecting more to join soon.

We commenced a range of global projects last year, as part of the 2014-16 PSI strategy.

PSI-UNEP Inquiry global consultation

One project we are wrapping up soon is the global consultation on how insurance policy and regulation could better support sustainable development. This is a joint project by the PSI Initiative and the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System.

We’d like to thank the organisations that have hosted or supported preparatory and consultation meetings in 2014 related to this project. These include Aviva, Brazilian Insurance Confederation (CNseg), Lloyd’s of London, Insurance Institute of India, Manulife, Munich Re Beijing, Sanlam, Santam, SulAmerica, The Co-operators, and UNEP FI itself.

This project is in line with the aims of Principle 3: “We will work together with governments, regulators and other key stakeholders to promote widespread action across society on environmental, social and governance issues.”

We have learned much along the way, gaining new perspectives and a better understanding of environmental, social and governance issues and the policy and regulatory environment across jurisdictions.

To supplement the insights we got from these meetings and be more inclusive, we are now carrying out the final phase of the consultation: seeking written input from PSI members and key stakeholders.

Your input on the PSI-UNEP Inquiry global consultation document (attached) would be invaluable. It would be ideal (but not compulsory) for you to answer all questions. So we would also welcome answers to select questions only.

Moreover, we recommend that you share the consultation document with:

  • Your colleagues in charge of government and regulatory affairs
  • Your national/state insurance regulator
  • Your national/state insurance association

Please send your written input by 20 February.

I’ll be writing the synthesis paper capturing the results of the consultation, and the findings will be released this May. Details to be advised in due course.

Before the release of the PSI-UNEP Inquiry synthesis paper, I’ll be sharing with you relevant projects and reports, including ground-breaking policy initiatives in China.

These include policy initiatives on how China could have a green financial system (across banking, insurance and investment) that would underpin the transition to a green economy. These policy initiatives are being carried out by the UNEP Inquiry, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the People’s Bank of China, and the Development Research Centre of the State Council of China.

See, for example, this UN press release on the Green Finance Working Group convened by the People’s Bank of China (China’s central bank) and UNEP.

A parallel, complementary policy initiative involves the Development Research Centre of the State Council of China, IISD, the UNEP Inquiry and other partners. This will culminate with the summary report of international experience being launched in Beijing this March at the China Development Forum — the most prestigious annual gathering of China’s policy leaders and leaders of the global business community and international organisations. We will share this summary report with you once it’s been launched.

Part of the China financial system policy work entailed forming an international expert group that covered different areas and issues (e.g. monetary policy, green bonds, investment strategies, financial policymaking, insurance, stranded assets, environmental legal liability), with me as the insurance lead.

In this capacity, I’ve provided the insurance and sustainability perspective in meetings with the Chinese government on their green finance policy agenda. One of my key deliverables was to write a paper looking at the insurance industry and sustainability in the context of insurance policy and regulatory developments. The paper is entitled “A systemic view of the insurance industry, regulation and sustainable development: International developments and policy proposals for China.”

While there are China-specific policy proposals, a substantial section of the paper looks at international developments. The paper could be used as a reference or as a starting point for policy engagement. This paper will be an IISD publication and I will share it with you once finalised.

***

We’ll be writing to you about other PSI projects and activities soon.

These include the next phase of the PSI Global Resilience Project, our flagship project, led by Insurance Australia Group; follow-up activities led by AXA and the PSI Secretariat to our work last year supporting the UN’s disaster resilience and sustainable development agenda; and the start of the global project led by Munich Re and the IFC on surety bond underwriting, ESG issues and infrastructure projects.

There’s been a lot of work by PSI members and the PSI Secretariat to get these global projects off the ground. We are now poised to deliver them and engage the wider PSI membership.

Thank you for your support and commitment as we turn the Principles into practice.

Best wishes

Butch Bacani
Programme Leader
The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative


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