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London Guildhall summit brings together the best of capital, science and policy to address the urgent need for better resilience against natural hazards and climate change

As part of the World Bank’s biennial Understanding Risk Forum of global leaders, Willis Group (WSH: NYSE), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker and patron of the event, is pleased to announce a unique gathering on Tuesday,1st July that will bring organisations such as the World Bank and the United Nations together with leading academic institutions, charities and global corporations to address natural disaster and climate risk across developed and emerging economies.

Arranged by Willis and co-sponsored with Airbus, the forum comes a week after HRH The Prince of Wales spoke of a need for companies to disclose natural disaster risk in corporate financial statements. This echoes a concept published by the Willis Research Network, during the United Nations Hyogo Framework for Action Summit in London.

Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis Group, commented:

Dominic Casserley
Dominic Casserley

“We know that stronger companies make stronger communities, providing society with better resilience in an increasingly risky world. Bringing together the worlds of capital, science and policy is the only way we can address the disaster risk that is playing a bigger part in human life than ever before.”

The two hour programme of short presentations and focused debates will include contributions from a wide variety of global corporates from the insurance industry and beyond, human rights experts, politicians, leading scientists, global charities, and Basel regulators. It will discuss, and announce developments in, a variety of initiatives that are supporting the delivery of a comprehensive response to future disaster and climate risk. These include:

  • Flood resilience through big data: A Willis Research Network-brokered agreement, in conjunction with two major corporations, to create a digital elevation model that will enable flood risk assessment and protection for coastal and flood plain communities throughout the world.
  •  Resilience through regulation: The “1/100” initiative, driven by the World Economic Forum and global accounting bodies, together with the insurance industry, which seeks to battle catastrophe risk through facilitating companies’ abilities to report on their exposures through a 1 in 100 year stress test.
  •  The development of the UN R!SE initiative:  The United Nations’ first private sector partnership that brings together business and communities to make investments risk-sensitive. (www.theriseinitiative.org)

The event will conclude with a panel of global leaders discussing how natural disaster risk can be managed and developed in emerging economies and shared between populations at local and global scales via public and private mechanisms.

Speakers include:

  •  Fiona Woolf, The Lord Mayor of London
  • Rachel Kyte, Vice President and Climate Change Envoy, World Bank
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Michel Lies, CEO, Swiss Re
  • Dominic Casserley, CEO, Willis Group
  • The Right Hon. Greg Barker, MP, UK Energy Minister
  • Rebecca Moore, Development Head,  Google Earth
  • Gill Dickson, Geo-Intelligence, Airbus Defence and Space
  • David Bull, Executive Director, UNICEF UK
  • Prof Dame Julia Slingo OBE, Chief Scientist, UK Met Office

Rowan Douglas, CEO of Willis Group’s Capital, Science and Policy Practice and Patron of the World Bank’s Understanding Risk Forum 2014, commented:

“To bring global charities such as UNICEF alongside modern-day corporate giants such as Google and Airbus, the best minds in the insurance industry, major global institutions such as the OECD, WMO and the World Economic Forum and a whole host of others from science and academia, provides us with a unique opportunity to align interests to translate ideas into urgent action. The renewal of the UN Hyogo Framework in Japan next March provides the impetus to triangulate these opportunities and deliver the structural reforms to save millions of lives and livelihoods through physical and financial resilience in the coming decades.”