Global Experts to Speak at First Bermuda Climate Risk Forum

Hamilton, Bermuda (October 28, 2019)—Global experts on climate change are among an impressive lineup of scientists and reinsurance industry leaders joining entrepreneur-philanthropist Michael Bloomberg and Bermuda Premier David Burt this Wednesday at the first Bermuda Climate Risk Forum.

More than 100 delegates have already registered for the October 30 half-day event at Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, presented by Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) in association with Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and the inaugural Bermuda Championship, an official PGA TOUR event, that kicks off the following day.

Bloomberg, the three-term New York City mayor, author, and global leader on climate change, is the keynote guest, whose conversation on climate-change issues with Premier Burt will launch Wednesday’s event. The 45-minute session will be followed by two expert discussion panels focused on the challenges of climate change and sea-level rise facing islands, and the science and business of risk and resilience. The event brings together local and overseas thought leaders from science, industry and government.

“Climate change is a critical global issue that’s already having an immense impact on the tourism industry and its diverse stakeholders, so a collective discussion is needed,” said BTA CEO Kevin Dallas. “We hope to build this event into a platform for meaningful thought leadership and a springboard for innovative solutions—not only for Bermuda but for other islands and onshore communities.”

Moderated by Dr. Mark Guishard, Director of the Risk Prediction Initiative at BIOS, the first panel focuses on how islands not only are at the forefront of potentially devastating impacts, but also provide lessons in resilience. The session features BIOS President and CEO Bill Curry and National Disaster Coordinator Steve Cosham. They will be joined by Angela Burnett Penn, Climate Change Coordinator for the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) in St Lucia, and the author of The Irma Diaries, that chronicled the devastation of the September 2017 Category 5 hurricane on her native British Virgin Islands (BVIs).

Chia-Ying Lee, an Assistant Research Professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a fellow at Lamont’s Center for Climate and Life, will also be a panellist in this session.

The second panel examines how the intersection of science and business has led to some of the most innovative tools and financial instruments available to build resilience against climate change and natural catastrophe risk. In particular, it looks at ways the insurance sector is undertaking efforts to reduce disaster risk and enhance climate resilience.

Moderated by Ariane West, Director of Structured Finance at Nephila Climate, this panel features Andy MacFarlane, Chief Actuary at AXA XL; Lara Mowery, Managing Director and Head of Global Property Specialty at Guy Carpenter; John Huff, President & CEO of the Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR); Jeff Manson, SVP Underwriting for RenaissanceRe; and Roy Wright, President & CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and a former executive at FEMA (the US Federal Emergency Management Agency).

The event includes networking breaks, as well as a special lunchtime presentation on BIOS’s island-wide education programmes that introduce students to the concept of ocean literacy and the skills required to be informed decision-makers in the future. Registration for the Bermuda Climate Risk Forum is $175 per person and includes attendance at the morning event, followed by lunch and ferry transport to and from the invitation-only Pro-Am of the PGA TOUR: Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton. That afternoon, SkyBox hospitality will be provided to Forum guests overlooking the course’s panoramic 18th hole.

To register, go to: http://bit.ly/climateriskforumbda

For more information on the Forum please visit the website, or you may contact the organisers at: hello@whitfield.bm or 292-6386.

In conjunction with the Climate Risk Forum, the Risk Prediction Initiative at BIOS is releasing a report entitled "Climate Change and Atlantic Hurricane Risk." The report outlines some of the latest developments in hurricane research and the evolving scientific perspectives on how storm impacts are changing in the face of warming oceans, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns. The report may be downloaded here.