Aiding the development of an insurance market for environmental risks will be at the top of Phil Bell's agenda as chairman of the Comité Européen des Assurances (CEA) general liability committee.

Bell, who is technical insurances manager at Royal & SunAlliance, was appointed chairman of the EU-wide lobby group's liability committee in late May.

He said that during his initial two-year term, he would focus on the insurability of emerging risks. Bell said that as clients face new risks, the insurance industry must work with them to develop new products. "If something is insurable then insurers should look to make products available," he said.

In its Environmental Liability Directive, which has now been passed, the EU backed down on making insurance compulsory, but will reassess the decision in six years.

Bell is pushing for the establishment of a working group to address issues surrounding the insurability of environmental risks, in order to ensure the market develops.

Bell said that lobbying against proposals for compulsory professional indemnity (PI) insurance in the EU's Internal Services Directive is also on his agenda.

The Directive, which is yet to be agreed on by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, proposes that PI cover should be made compulsory in all industries other than financial services, which is already regulated.

The EU is concerned about the lack of cross-border cover available in some countries.

"I don't believe that making insurance compulsory will promote cross border activity," Bell said.