Friends for a cause

Published: Sunday 30 June 1996

AS THE earth grows warmer, the battle between insurance and energy industries is heating up. The insurance executives have teamed up with international climate change experts. Around 60 big insurance companies met recently in London to chalk out ways of improving the management of environmental risks that are costing their businesses huge amounts of money. The insurance executives have adopted a paper seeking "a substantial reduction" in the green- house gas emissions which trap heat in the atmosphere and add to global warming.

The paper comes at the right time for climate change experts who launched a report recently, which highlights the influence of human beings on global warming. The largest contribution to global warming is made by carbon dioxide generated mainly by burning of fossil fuels.

The World Energy Council, which represents the energy industries of 100 countries, has dismissed the report's findings as unreliable. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, a co-sponsor of the conference, "Sixteen one-billion dollar-plus catastrophes linked to the environment resulted in worldwide insured losses of over us $50 billion".

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