Sharing remaining carbon emissions: what is fair?

By Louise Pryor

In order to meet the net zero goal that supports the Paris Agreement, global emissions will have to be drastically reduced over the coming years. In fact there is a limit on the remaining amount of emissions that the atmosphere can absorb before the global temperature rise will move above the agreed bounds – this limit is the remaining carbon budget. Global emissions will have to be cut drastically to stay within the budge. The question that this paper considers is how the remaining carbon budget should be allocated, and what might be considered “fair” in this context.

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Climate solvency and investment management actions

By Neil Dissanayake

In ACC’s discussion paper 2, we introduced the idea of climate solvency. In this paper we draw a comparison with insurer solvency which highlights the urgency of the situation and the need for credible committed actions to address it. We suggest some practical actions that insurers and investors can take to help in tackling the climate emergency.

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What does “net zero” mean?

By Roelof Coertze, Izaak Jephson and Kateryna Swiegers

As the world attempts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the concept of ‘net zero’ is central to many strategies and targets. However, ‘net zero’ is often not explicitly defined and varies for different entities. This note explores what ‘net zero’ means for various levels of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) emissions aggregation and discusses associated considerations for each of them. Specifically, we consider the following views at which the concept of ‘net zero’ is typically used: the planet, country, company, product and individual levels.

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Applying the Markov model to Carbon Flows

By Gowri Suresh Babu

As actuaries, we are trained to model uncertain futures. Probabilities are one of the most used tools in our actuarial toolkit, and are a very powerful metric. The common example that affects everyone’s daily life is the weather – probabilities are used to make predictions which help us to decide whether or not to take that umbrella!

Climate change has many uncertainties over an extended period. Gowri Suresh Babu considers combining probabilities, a Markov model and the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) to gain useful insight into what RCP the earth may be in at future points of time.

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Comment on the WLCN/LETI/RIBA Framework for assessing the carbon emissions of buildings

By Louise Pryor and Simon Sturgis

In May 2021 the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) and the Whole Life Carbon Network (WLCN) published Carbon Definitions and Targets. These consolidate targets previously published separately by the RIBA, LETI and the Greater London Authority (GLA), and provide a Framework for going forward.

The document links the RICS methodology to specific Definitions and Carbon Targets with the aim of standardising and coordinating these aspects of carbon assessment and reporting.

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Applying insurance solvency skills to climate solvency: How actuaries can step up to the climate emergency

In this article, Tim den Dekker proposes how actuaries should use their unique skills to help tackle the climate emergency. Strong conceptual parallels can be drawn between existing accounting and actuarial concepts in managing risk in the insurance industry and those required to do the same for the global climate. These close conceptual parallels point to a clear opportunity for actuaries — who already oversee and sign-off many aspects relating to the solvency management of insurance companies as a core competency — to be suitably up-skilled take on a central role in the solvency management of the global climate.

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