One very important aspect of climate change law and policy that receives too little attention is the role of insurance as a driver of behavior, including solutions to climate change risks and impacts. Professor Sean Hecht provided a very cogent analysis of the topic at the 2010 Northeast Florida Environmental Summit in a presentation titled The Role of Insurance in Climate Change Risk Management and Adaptation. In the presentation, Sean discusses the potential and obsticles for insurance companies and their products to improve climate resilience through creating new markets, promoting resilience-building behavior, and providing compensation following costly events. Several of Sean’s articles on related topics are available for free download here.
Professor Hecht spoke on a panel with Dr. Walter (Tony) Rosenbaum, whose presentation titled Has Flood Insurance Become Development Assurance?: The Federal Role in Mitigating Flood Hazard Risk is also available at this video link. Tony’s presentation provides an excellent overview of the relatively little-known flood insurance program, including the huge potential liability connected with it and the policy implications of making affordable insurance available for building in flood-prone areas.