Climate risk reporting practices by UK insurance companies and pension schemes

Paul Klumpes, Madhu Acharyya, Gautam Kakar, Emily Sturgess

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Abstrakt

Increasing global concern over the impact of climate change has recently led to public scrutiny over the adequacy ofexisting risk managementpractices by insurancecompaniesandpensionschemesindealing with these challenges that potentially impact both individual actuaries and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries generally. Most recently, the Prudential Regulation Authority has issued further guidance concerning its expectations for the UK insurance industry regarding the development of an approach to disclosure on and management of the financial risks from climate change, while a Parliamentary Committee has demanded public clarification from UK pension scheme trustees regarding their degree of engagement with incorporating climate-related financial risks into their investment decision-making. The aim of this paper is to identify the dominating factors of the current evolvement of UK insurance companies’ and pension schemes’ climate risk disclosure practices. This paper analyses both the nature and extent of changes in the risk reporting practices of these entities that have evolved in order to meet these demands for increased accountability. We first analyse relevant sections of latest annual reports produced by a sample of 15 UK insurance companies and 15 pension schemes. We find only limited alignment of insurance firm and pension scheme annual reports with the 11 specific Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure’s (TCFD) recommended disclosures. We also examine what key financial risk and/or other organisational characteristics are most closely associated with the degree of alignment with TCFD specified disclosures related to governance, strategy, risk management and performance metrics. We find that incentives facing sample insurance companies to align their climate-related disclosures with TCFD recommendations are related to their management of reputation risk (measured on the basis of size and type of business). Whereas the incentives facing pension schemes are related to the desire to reduce information asymmetry (measured by liability risk) among their stakeholders concerning this issue. Further, consistent with a stakeholder theory explanation, it appears that only a minority of large, publicly listed insurance companies and large local government pension schemes are taking action to report on their actions to mitigate climate risk. We also discuss examples of best practice climate risk reporting. The implications for the actuarial profession in engaging with climate risk are discussed in line with the findings of the study.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBritish Actuarial Journal
Vol/bind24
ISSN1357-3217
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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