The science is clear: the earth is warming at an unprecedented rate and man-made carbon emissions are the main cause. The likely impacts of climate change are also well documented, and past predictions such as sea level rise and more intense heat waves are starting to materialize. AXA’s strategy is not only to adapt, but also to take advantage of our expertise to provide solutions. Indeed, we are well equipped to contribute to the understanding of climate change through our risk management expertise, the vast number of claims data we collect, and the research we fund to address climate-related risks. We also have a duty to disseminate knowledge about new risks. Through our underwriting decisions, we can also show the risks the society is taking and foster prevention actions to mitigate them. Finally, through our significant investments, we are also well positioned to send the right signals to the investment community and to the specific companies we invest in. More specifically, our strategy currently includes the following initiatives :
- Investments: investing in green assets, divesting from certain carbon-intensive industries (coal and oil sands), climate-related shareholder engagement, climate risk analysis with a long-term view;
- Insurance: underwriting restrictions on the coal and oil sands industries, “green/sustainable” products in both Property & Casualty and Life & Savings ranges, promotion of new insurance solutions designed for developing countries (typically parametric insurance);
- Operations: direct environmental footprint targets covering energy & carbon emissions, water and paper;
- Thought leadership, NGO partnerships, academic research (AXA Research Fund), public / private partnerships to foster prevention;
- More recently, the Group has also decided to start addressing the issue of interrelated issue of biodiversity loss through a comprehensive strategy that will be gradually rolled out. See for example AXA’s first report, with recommendations co-signed by AXA and the WWF, on the connections between biodiversity loss and investment decision-making.
- These efforts are further developed in the following sections.