Short term energy needs have to be balanced with drive to sustainability

The world has been warned it cannot abandon its efforts to deliver a future of renewable and sustainable energy in the hunt for short term fixes to the current global energy crisis.

Urs Baertschi, (above) Chief Executive Officer Reinsurance EMEA at Swiss Re warned the need to maintain the move towards net zero has to be maintained and despite the pledged from many nations to reach the figure by 2030 the need to make progress in the months ahead remained urgent.

“Disruption from the war in Ukraine continues to ripple across the globe, leaving many countries scrambling to secure alternative fossil fuel supplies amid turbulence in international relations,” said Baertschi. “But as nations seek near-term solutions for immediate energy challenges, we must be mindful not to lose sight of the crucial long-term goal of transitioning the global economy to net-zero.

“Our climate is already sending us urgent messages about the perils of not acting. As Swiss Re’s 2021 Economics of Climate Change report showed, the world stands to lose at least 10% of global GDP from climate change if 2050 net-zero carbon emission goals aren’t met.”

He added there was simply not time to waste of the world was to meet its targets and limit global warming to manageable levels.

“The time is now – which is why the short- and medium-term push by nations to secure new fossil fuel resources must remain merely a bridge to a more sustainable future where we rely on renewable power like solar, wind and hydroelectricity across the board,” Baertschi explained. The benefits of this go way beyond mitigating climate change, forming the basis of stronger economies, creating jobs and underpinning growth for nations and companies that embrace it.”

The Reinsurance industry had a huge role to play he added and in many ways it had to lead by example by sticking to its pledges to support the transition to a sustainable energy future.

“As providers of risk knowledge and transfer solutions, we cannot underestimate the role of re/insurers in facilitating this transition. We must therefore continue embracing new solutions for green and clean energy innovations like wind and solar projects, and not lose focus on reducing the carbon intensity of investments.

“This, alongside work with clients to help them, and ourselves, on the shared journey to net-zero carbon emissions, will bring us one step closer to build a world capable of withstanding future shocks.”

Baertschi concluded that while the world was in the brink there was still an opportunity but it needed to be grasped.

“There’s still time for an orderly transition – but we cannot afford to miss the chance.”