WWF and RSA join forces to combat insurance risks of climate change

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TORONTO, Nov. 16 2009 – WWF, the global conservation organization, and RSA, a leading international insurance group, have today announced an international partnership. The three-year agreement will focus on researching insurance risks of environmental change. As part of the global partnership, RSA is supporting major conservation projects around the world. In Canada, this includes supporting WWF-Canada’s national marine conservation program.

“The world’s changing climate presents a new set of risks,” said Rowan Saunders, President & CEO of RSA in Canada. “WWF and RSA will work together to understand those risks in a changing world. The insurance industry is able to help customers understand the level of risk they face, underwrite that risk to give security and respond when the worst happens.”

Key elements of the partnership include:

  • Climate change is opening up new areas of the Arctic to resource extraction, commercial shipping and fishing, and placing increasing pressure on conservation of marine ecosystems along Canadian coastlines. As Canada’s largest marine insurer, RSA is sponsoring WWF-Canada to research and map sensitive areas to help understand and mitigate risks and promote the use of resources in a more sustainable way. This project joins other RSA and WWF marine conservation projects around the world including the Arctic, the Baltic, and Scandinavian coastlines.
  • In December, during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the need for a new global deal to reduce greenhouse gases will be discussed. RSA will be supporting the WWF’s major exhibition on risks to the Arctic region and will be present at the World Climate Change talks.
  • With WWF’s support, RSA will be setting new CO(2) targets, researching its supply chain impact, developing new green products and investigating how RSA’s investment strategies can support sustainability.

Gerald Butts, President and CEO of WWF-Canada, said: “Canada has the longest coastline of any nation in the world and a special responsibility to protect our oceans. We are grateful for RSA’s support for to help manage the risks of climate change and ensure healthy oceans for generations to come.”

RSA believes that behaving responsibly and ethically in the way the business is managed will have a positive impact on the environment, people and the communities in which the company operates. Saunders continued, “During the course of this partnership we’ll be helping and learning from each other to understand more about environmental risks, to protect our business and customers while minimizing the impact on the environment.”

For more information visit: www.wwfrsapartners.com

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

About RSA

With an almost 300 year heritage, RSA is one of the world’s leading multinational quoted insurance groups. It has the capability to write business in over 130 countries and with major operations in the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, Ireland, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East and Latin America. Focusing on general insurance, it has around 21,000 employees and, in 2008, its net written premiums were (pnds stlg)6.5bn. www.rsa.com