Insurers partner up with governments, environmental groups to battle ocean risk

New alliance to pioneer insurance and finance products to enhance investment in coastal resilience

Insurers partner up with governments, environmental groups to battle ocean risk


By Ryan Smith

As part of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit, a new alliance between the insurance and finance sectors, governments and environmental organisations is being launched to build resilience to ocean risk.

The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) will pioneer insurance and finance products that spur investment in coastal resilience, accelerate research to better understand and manage ocean risk, and inform policy, governance, and public understanding.

“Ocean changes have widespread implications for the lives and livelihoods of billions of people,” said Denis Duverne, chairman of the board at AXA, one of ORRAA’s founding member companies. “Protecting and regenerating coastal natural capital is critical, and the finance and insurance industries have a key role to play in reducing the exposure and vulnerability of coastal communities and ecosystems. From micro-insurance products for loans incentivising sustainable fishing to a Blue Carbon Resilience Credit giving a carbon and resilience value to mangroves, ORRAA’s outputs will be designed to be replicated across regions exposed to the impacts of ocean changes.”

ORRAA’s other founding members include Ocean Unite, the Global Resilience Partnership, and the government of Canada. At last month’s G7 meeting, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would provide more than C$2 million to help build the alliance.

“The ocean is vital for supporting life on our planet, and ecosystems such as reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, and salt marshes play a critical role in coastal protection and local economies,” said Karen Sack, president and CEO of Ocean Unite. “By bringing sectors together and significantly increasing investment in our natural capital, we can regenerate and revitalise nature to the benefit of ecosystems and society for generations to come.”

“The alliance is a powerful opportunity for a diverse and influential set of stakeholders to join forces in developing innovative solutions to ocean risk while also helping to close the protection gap in emerging economies,” said Deon Nel, CEO of the Global Resilience Partnership. “The alliance brings together the knowledge, innovation and political will to realise a truly transformative, global response to ocean risk.”

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