Our Commitments …

... to the United Nations

Many of our recent efforts to expand insurance protection cover losses from natural catastrophes and weather volatility (eg drought or excessive rainfall). As climate change is predicted to increase these losses, such transactions also help communities to strengthen their climate resilience. Furthermore, we have found that partnering with public sector clients, especially national and regional governments, is an effective way to develop solutions.

Building on these experiences, we made a significant commitment to the United Nations at its Climate Summit in September 2014. Personally addressing the government leaders present at the summit, Group CEO Michel M. Liès made the following pledge: “By the year 2020, Swiss Re commits to having advised 50 sovereigns and sub-sovereigns on climate risk resilience, and to have offered them USD 10 billion against this risk.”

We have agreed with the United Nations to report publicly on the progress we make on this commitment. By the end of 2015, we had advised 13 sovereigns and sub-sovereigns on climate risk resilience and offered them a total of USD 2.1 billion in re/insurance protection.

... to the Grow Africa Partnership

In our efforts to bring risk protection to underinsured communities, the African continent — Sub-Saharan Africa in particular — has been a focus area in recent years. Reflecting this engagement, we made an important commitment to the Grow Africa Partnership (www.growafrica.org) in 2012. This initiative was launched by a number of organisations to promote public-private collaboration and investment in African agriculture. As most smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have lacked access to insurance protection so far, addressing this problem is crucial to protect families’ livelihoods, facilitate economic development and reduce poverty.

Our commitment to the Grow Africa Partnership thus includes the following three elements:

  • Give farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa access to tools such as weather and yield index insurance products;
  • Invest in resources equivalent to about USD 2 million per year to support the development of sustainable agricultural risk management markets;
  • Provide agricultural insurance for up to 1.4 million smallholder farmers.

Working together with different partners, we helped to bring weather insurance to 1.6 million smallholder farmers in 11 Sub-Saharan countries by the end of 2015. The fact that the total has fallen from the 2 million recorded in the previous year is mainly due to changes in how one country participating in the African Risk Capacity has structured its coverage under the programme: it has substantially revised its assumptions on the drought exposure of its farmers and reduced the percentage of farmers covered by the scheme.

USD 2.1 billion

Total amount of climate protection offered to sovereigns and sub-sovereigns since 2014

1.6 million

Smallholder farmers benefiting from the Grow Africa Partnership

(2 million* in 2014)
* See comment in text