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Lloyd's takes steps to tackle climate threat


LONDON—Lloyd's of London has announced the creation of a new team of experts to help its insurers prepare for and manage the apparently growing risk of climate change.

Trevor Maynard, Lloyd's manager of emerging risks and head of the new team, said: "Climate change is a very real threat. It would be unthinkable for us to ignore one of the biggest dangers we face in the coming decades. Among other things, this market recognizes the importance of developing new technology to create renewable energy."

"At Lloyd's, we will help to keep the market up to date with all the latest findings and thinking on climate change, analyze the resulting risks, and spread best practice to help every market firm deal with them. Adapting to climate change should become business as usual," added Mr. Maynard.

Lloyd's also listed a number of other measures it is taking to help combat climate change. These include theformation of a series of partnerships with leading professional, academic and government experts to better understand the risks involved. Lloyd's also said that it aims to reduce in its own carbon footprint by making changes to the energy usage of the Lloyd's building in London, and moving its Kent operation to a new office with energy-saving features.

The announcement came just days after the U.K. government published the so-called Stern Review, a report that it described as the most comprehensive review ever carried out on the economics of climate change.

The Review, which reports to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown, was commissioned by the Chancellor in July last year. It has been carried out by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the Government Economic Service and former World Bank Chief Economist.

Sir Nicholas said that the findings of the report were essentially optimistic because there is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if governments, business and society as a whole act now and internationally. But he did stress that the task is urgent and that if action is not taken then catastrophic consequences could ensue worldwide.