Swiss Re’s contribution to the COP21 Climate Change Conference

In December 2015, ministers and negotiators from 195 countries gathered over two weeks in Paris for the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference ( Finally, after 20 years of repeated disappointments, a legally binding agreement to fight climate change was adopted, and by consensus. The agreement not only aims to cap global warming at 2°C over pre-industrial levels – but if possible to go further, with a new target of 1.5°C. The agreement was lauded a landmark success.

COP21 Action Day (photo)

Our Group CEO Michel M. Liès addresses the participants of Action Day at the COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Having played a major role in the climate change debate for over two decades, we actively supported the COP21 negotiation process, both before and during the conference.

In the run-up to COP21, Group CEO Michel M. Liès signed the Paris Pledge for Action (, together with 77 other CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. This pledge states that:

“… we, the undersigned, affirm our strong commitment to a safe and stable climate in which temperature rise is limited to under 2 degrees Celsius.

“In support of this, we welcome the adoption of a new, universal climate agreement at COP21 in Paris, which is a critical step on the path to solving climate change. We pledge our support to ensuring that the level of ambition set by the agreement is met or exceeded.”

An earlier version of this pledge was published as an open letter in the Financial Times on the eve of the 2015 World Bank Spring Meeting, under the heading “Let’s partner on climate action. Now”.

Michel Liès also took part in the COP21 Action Day in Paris. Speaking at the Protect the Planet session and later at the launch of the new G7 InsuResilience initiative, he explained the important role re/insurance plays in tackling climate change and strengthening climate resilience: Firstly, by putting a price tag on the risk, which creates an incentive to invest in prevention measures; secondly, by offering solutions that make socioeconomic systems more resilient to climate change. He emphasised, however, that in order to maintain the insurability of severe weather events at reasonable cost, it would be essential to limit global warming to 2°C. This requires a framework to channel financial flows into low-carbon economic development.

On our website you can watch a video in which Michel Liès offers his analysis of the COP21 conference:

You can learn more about how we help to tackle climate change in these sections: