Climate Emergency – tipping the odds in our favour: A climate change policy briefing for COP27

07 November 2022

Climate change is a risk-management problem. Even 1.5°C of global warming is extremely risky with the chance of triggering multiple climate tipping points and multi-meter sea level rise, which may be irreversible. Delivering a stable climate for future generations will require removing historic emissions. This will require going beyond net zero to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, using both technological and natural solutions.

The IFoA has partnered with the Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG) in a joint report looking at how actuarial risk-management techniques can be applied to the climate change problem, including what action to take to mitigate the extreme risks of climate breakdown.

Key findings:

  • Climate change is progressing faster than expected, with more severe impacts.
  • Net-zero carbon budgets give only a 50% chance or less of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, which represents an unreasonable risk of not meeting our objectives.
  • Multiple climate change tipping points, which may be irreversible, are likely to be triggered at 1.5°C.
  • Tipping points mean there is even more uncertainty which we need to plan for by exploring tail risks and introducing prudence.
  • In addition to rapid reduction, delivering a stable climate will require removing GHGs from the atmosphere.
  • It will be economically and socially positive to mitigate climate change. We have agency. Solutions are now scaling up and nature is a powerful ally. Policymakers must act decisively to accelerate the transition and ensure it is just.

Report co-author and former Chair of the IFoA Sustainability Board, Sandy Trust, has also written a blog about why climate tipping points are a cause for concern and why action needs to be taken now to start mitigating the effects of climate change.

Sandy's blog is available for you to read on the IFoA Blog.

Climate Emergency - tipping the odds in our favour

Climate Emergency - tipping the odds in our favour

Read our latest climate change policy briefing for COP27 (PDF, 7MB)

Authors: Sandy Trust, Lucy Saye, Sir David King, Riti Patel, and Alex Martin
Read the report

Climate Emergency – tipping the odds in our favour: International Association Supportive Quotes

SAA Sabine Betz, President said; “The Swiss Association of Actuaries (SAA) is pleased to support the IFoA policy briefing, acknowledging the importance of defining an actuarial approach to managing climate change risk in order to help limiting the effects of climate change.”

AAELutz Wilhelmy, AAE Chairperson said; “The Actuarial Association of Europe (AAE) fully supports the analysis laid out in this IFoA policy briefing that climate change is a risk management problem on a global scale, and that more climate action is urgently needed to avoid catastrophic climate impacts on society”.