DUBAI: In discussions about the impact of global warming, it is crucial to consider the financial capabilities and burdens – especially for vulnerable nations in recovery, a top UN official has emphasized.
During a panel conversation on day two of the UN’s climate change conference in Dubai, the organization’s Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori highlighted the importance of this aspect.
The panel also featured Yoshihiro Kawai, chairman of the South East Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility; Ana Gonzales Pelaez, a fellow of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; and David Howden, CEO of Howden Group.
Mizutori shared insights on securing the financial future of climate-vulnerable nations, drawing from personal observations during visits to these countries.
She emphasized that the focus should shift from what they have lost to what resources they possess for development.
“It is not about how and what they lost but when you look at it, it is about what do they have in order to develop,” said Mizutori.
Countries like Tonga, a collection of small islands in the Pacific Ocean, are, in Mizutori’s eyes, still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, they are facing environmental problems, such as floods, that hinder their financial growth and overall social development.
The UN assistant secretary-general believes that the insurance industry plays a significant role in securing the financial future of vulnerable countries in the face of climate change. According to her, fundraisers need to first agree on how to address it adequately and design a plan that suits the given circumstances.
She added: “The insurance industry has been the active cord of protection for vulnerable countries.”
Furthermore, Howden shared his perspective on the subject during the panel, stating: “It is not just about providing finance for disasters or post-disaster situations but also ensuring certainty around investment.”
He believes that funding vulnerable nations without the guarantee of maintaining sustainable investments may not be the best approach. Thus, having an insurance financial plan for each country becomes a necessity to facilitate recovery once a disaster strikes.