Climate Change: Fuelling Terror and Extremism

Climate Change: Fuelling Terror and Extremism
IFTRIP, Pool Re SOLUTIONS and START partner on a global strategic initiative

This timely initiative is symbolic of the devastating and far-reaching impact of climate change. A new global partnership with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) will focus on the impact of climate change on terrorism.

START, based at the University of Maryland in the US, with the cooperation of IFTRIP – the largest global terrorism pools forum – and Pool Re SOLUTIONS, will produce a series of rapid reports underlining the impact climate change is having on the drivers of terrorism, examining both the current and contemporary threats and global regional outlooks.

The research, which will be outcome focussed, will also provide possible actions and recommendations of how to mitigate this risk. These will be presented at the next International Forum of Terrorism Risk (Re) Insurance Pools (IFTRIP) meeting in Washington DC in May 2022.

The momentum for this project has been building for some time, and as world leaders meet in Glasgow to commence the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, the three ways in which climate change and terrorism appear to interact are revealed as:

  • as an indirect contributor,
  • as an ideological driver,
  • as a tool with which to control populations.

Terrorism poses significant implications for the insurance industry, governments and others interested in the issue of resilience, and it is hoped the study will be able to provide valuable data and analytics to measure and define the likely impacts of climate change on the terrorism landscape.

Bill Braniff, Director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), said: “Climate change will be the most impactful global issue of our time, and because negative outcomes are inevitable, it is critical that we invest now in a dedicated research agenda to help governments, the private sector and communities to direct resources effectively to treat, transfer or terminate risks. This study represents a critical and pragmatic contribution focused on implications for human and economic security.  In truth, we are already observing violence, criminality, and terrorism brought about directly and indirectly by climate change; this study will therefore serve as a call to action on an urgent issue.

Julian Enoizi, Pool Re CEO and IFTRIP Secretariat, said: “ We are delighted to partner with START, who already hold a distinguished reputation in the field of terrorism research. Pool Re is pleased to promote this as one of the initiatives to highlight and provide a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities the industry is facing. The threats and risks connected to climate change cannot simply be measured by natural disasters or extreme weather events. Climate change is causing poverty, destabilisation and mass migration on an unprecedented scale, all of which could lead to some serious challenges as regards terrorism if we don’t tackle climate change.

MORE About START

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism—better known as START—is a university-based research and education center comprised of an international network of scholars committed to the scientific study of the causes and human consequences of terrorism in the United States and around the world.

A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence headquartered at the University of Maryland, START supports the research efforts of leading social scientists at more than 50 academic and research institutions, each of whom is conducting original investigations into fundamental questions about terrorism.

START experts apply a range of research methods to the exploration of these questions in order to deliver findings based on the best available open-source evidence and data. At the heart of START’s work are the principles that the research it is conducting must be both scientifically rigorous and directly relevant to homeland security professionals.

START is a part of the collection of Centers of Excellence supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and also receives funding and support from a variety of Federal agencies, private foundations, and universities. All of START’s research is conducted using non-classified materials and its findings are those of individual researchers and do not reflect the official position of any START funders.

More About Pool Re

Pool Re is the insurance industry’s mutual for insuring terrorism risk in Great Britain. It was established in 1993 by the UK Government in response to the untenable losses and uncertainty caused by the Provisional IRA’s devastating bombings in financial centres in London and Manchester during The Troubles. As a result of their attacks, insurance cover was withdrawn for commercial property, meaning that the economy, industry, and the taxpayer were highly vulnerable to the effects of future attacks.

Pool Re exists to correct market failure, protect the UK economy, and safeguard society and livelihoods from acts of terrorism. We offer a financial safety net for around £2.2 trillion of assets and businesses of all sizes, from shopping centres and local traders to airports and power grids, across sectors of the economy such as real estate, retail, transport, construction and energy.

We have a sizable reserve fund built up over 28 years by investing insurers’ premium contributions in preparation for the unthinkable. This buffer, which currently stands at £6.6 billion, has allowed us to pay claims in excess of £1.25 billion (when adjusted for inflation) in relation to 17 terrorist events since our foundation without ever needing to call upon the unlimited HM Treasury loan facility which underpins Pool Re.

This pre-funded arrangement means we are able to supply a steady net contribution to public finances – nearly £450 million in premium since 2018. It also means we are able to use our unique position between the public and private sectors to invest in partnerships and protective security initiatives with academia, risk specialists, and public agencies to understand and mitigate the impacts of modern terrorism. Recent examples include a unique information exchange platform run by the Metropolitan Police to allow businesses to benefit from the expertise of the UK’s counter-terrorism agencies, and supporting government-backed initiatives to finance UK start-ups contributing to national security and resilience.

These and other partnerships and initiatives from international collaboration to innovations in coverage have been at the heart of our strategy since 2015: to underpin, stimulate and grow the commercial market for terrorism risk, and in so doing, scale the UK’s resilience to terrorism, and provide a platform for national security and prosperity. Our world leading retrocession programme and global first ILS placement are just two examples of how this has been achieved.

In November 2019, we launched Pool Re Solutions, a specialist consultancy unit created to support member insurers and their policyholders by sharing the unique understanding and partnerships we have established over 28 years of reinsuring terrorism risk. This new in-house centre of excellence has been developed to streamline and amplify our emphasis since 2015 on risk awareness, risk modelling and risk management.

We are recognised by our public partners as the ‘global leader in the sector… a world-leading partnership between Government and the insurance sector’, and in 2019 were recognised by our commercial peers with numerous prestigious awards, including ‘Risk Carrier of the Year’, ‘Underwriting Initiative of the Year’ and ‘Industry Achiever of the Year’ for our CEO, Julian Enoizi.

For more information, visit www.poolre.co.uk

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