Swiss Re hosts roundtable on climate change economics

Swiss Re hosts roundtable on climate change economics

14 June 2004

Swiss Re
"Economic dimension of climate change" roundtable

Peter Bridgewater, the Secretary General, attended by invitation an executive roundtable event, "Economic dimension of climate change", at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue, Rüschlikon, Switzerland, 3-4 June 2004. The event was a complement to the Climate Change Futures project, being conducted by Swiss Re, the global reinsurance company, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Centre for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, by examining various climate change-related scenarios in depth. The dialogue was an intensive presentation/discussion format, and Ramsar, along with UNFCCC, was able to contribute substantially to the outcomes.

Paul R. Epstein from Harvard Medical School delivered an address outlining the project's purposes and goals, and John R. Coomber, CEO of Swiss Re, made a presentation that examined the company's response to climate change and the insurance industry's stake in understanding its implications. However, the main focus of the event was upon dialogue among all participants, trying to see climate change in a broad context. From the conventions' perspective, the key issue of adaptation and mitigation was a critical one, although the way in which wetlands can help, or complicate, the issue of interaction between human and ecosystem health and climate change is an interesting one that we need to keep on our agenda.

The number of attendees touched one hundred, comprising leading academic experts in climate change and health, CEOs from major global companies, representatives of national and multilateral government agencies, and executives from major non-governmental organisations, including IUCN and Conservation International.

Further details of the event are to found at