The ABI is launching a major industry initiative today to combat climate change on a global scale with the backing of all the major insurers.

Insurers, including AXA, Aviva, Royal & SunAlliance and Lloyd’s, have signed up to the initiative which sets tough targets relating to climate change.

An ABI spokesman said: “Many companies have undertaken their own initiative but this is a real attempt to tackle climate change and produce genuine results as an industry.

“These are real and sustainable objectives that are testing for all those who sign up to them and each company will be tested against an audit system which will be put in place.

“It will be applied to companies globally and not just in the UK. So there is a real global emphasis here.”

The ClimateWise initiative has created eight principles for the industry to adhere to.

These are based around three core principles relating to risk awareness in regards to carbon emissions, insurers’ ethical investment strategy and the promotion of greater consumer awareness and delivery of incentives for consumers to adopt more environmentally friendly products.

Performance by each of the signatories will be assessed annually.

The ClimateWise initiative began with 16 companies originally signing up but has now expanded to 36.

The ABI spokesman added: “This puts the issue of climate change on the corporate boardroom table. Tackling climate change is not going to happen overnight but this goes a long way in dealing with it going forward.”

The initiative, which has been 18 months in development, has been backed by the Prince of Wales Business in the Community initiative.

Insurance Times Insuring Climate Change conference,

9 October, London. See