PODCAST

Climate Resilience in Focus

In this inaugural episode of The Marsh & McLennan Advantage podcast, experts from throughout the firm discuss risk factors and responses to the changing climate, through the lens of the public and private sectors as well as the world of investing.

Colleagues Dan Kaniewski of Marsh & McLennan Advantage and Melissa Leuck of Torrent Technologies discuss the nature of the dual threats of too much and too little water – and how businesses and communities can act to reduce their burden.

Rob Bailey of Marsh & McLennan Advantage Insights and Ruth Lux, a Public Sector specialist at Guy Carpenter, talk about how governments are partnering with the private sector to transfer some of their exposure to climate risk to the private market.

Alex Bernhardt of the Marsh & McLennan Advantage and Helga Birgden of Mercer’s Responsible Investing practice speak about why this is the moment for sustainable investing, who’s leading the charge, and the impact it has on the way corporations operate.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Rob Bailey: If 2020 has shown us anything, it's that we live in a world with risks around every corner. Calm seas can become a storm system, droughts lead to wildfire, a virus surfaces in a single city and becomes a pandemic that kills thousands and changes the course of the global economy. Analyzing these risks is critical to planning for them every year since 2006, the World Economic Forum and Marsh & McLennan and recently with the support of Zurich Insurance, has issued a global risks report. They survey global businesses and public sector leaders and ask them about the risks the world faces and analyze those findings. It's a snapshot of the biggest global challenges and concerns and how we might address them. When the report was released at the beginning of this year, the top five global risks in terms of likelihood were all related to the environment.

Rob Bailey: Although the world is rightly focused on COVID-19 right now, the last 12 months have put environmental risks on full display. Communities and ecosystems have been devastated by wildfires in Australia and Western North America, hurricanes in the Caribbean, heat waves in Europe. Businesses are approaching these threats with new ardor. They are identifying strategies to address the ever-growing risks of a changing climate and dreaming up new solutions to adapt to this new world.

Rob Bailey: I'm Rob Bailey, director of climate resilience at Marsh & McLennan Advantage Insights, and welcome to the Marsh & McLennan Advantage. Marsh & McLennan is the leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. Our businesses advise clients in 130 countries including 95% of the Fortune 1000. Advantage is not just the name of our podcast, it's the spirit and endeavor that harnesses expertise and insights within our four businesses to master the interconnected dynamics of risk, strategy and people.

Rob Bailey: In that vein, this podcast will explore some of the major risks facing companies, governments, and communities around the world, as well as the opportunities posed by transformative technologies, changes to the workforce and other trends and how they intersect.

Rob Bailey: In this episode, we'll discuss risk factors and responses to the changing climate through the lens of the public sector and the world of investing, as well as through the eyes of our risk managers. Experts forecast that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, we'll be 40% more active than the average year. 128 million Americans are at risk of flooding this spring and Europe braces for what could be the latest in a string of intense summer heat waves. All this, while we are focused on caring for those infected with the Corona virus and fighting it spread, amid a global economic shutdown imposed to help that effort. The critical work to mitigate the risk of a changing climate continues.

Rob Bailey: This episode takes a deeper look at this risk and how leaders are developing innovative solutions to what remains a serious challenge to life, as we know it.

Rob Bailey: So much of our climate challenge revolves around one of the basic elements of life. Water. Too much leads to devastating floods, too little leads to drought and wildfire and often these risks collide, compounding their impacts on communities and businesses. We can prepare for these risks physically and financially. My colleagues. Dan Kaniewski of Marsh & McLennan Advantage and Melissa Leuck of Torrent Technologies joined to discuss the nature of the dual threats of too much and too little water and how we can act to reduce their burden.

Dan Kaniewski: I'm Dan Kaniewski of Marsh & McLennan and I'm the managing director responsible for leading innovation in support of the work we do for public sector agencies and institutions, and I came to Marsh & McLennan from FEMA. FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as many of you, I'm sure, know and there I was the deputy administrator for resilience. In that role, I oversaw a lot of the actions that FEMA did to reduce the impact of future disasters. That includes risk and resilience and preparedness. All areas that I've been focused on in my entire career over the past 20 years, whether it be in government at the White House or on Capitol Hill, research organizations or now in the private sector.

Dan Kaniewski: I'm joined today by Melissa Leuck  of Torrent Technologies and Melissa, so glad to have you here.

Melissa Leuck: Nice to be with you, Dan.

Dan Kaniewski: Melissa, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Torrent?

Melissa Leuck: I'm Melissa Leuck. Nice to be with you today. I'm the Senior Vice president of sales and client relations at Torrent. Torrent is at the center of technological innovation within the flood insurance industry. We touch both the public and the private sectors. I've been with Torrent now for six months. I've worked in technology, distribution, risk management, and weather risk for the last 20 years.

Dan Kaniewski: Well, thank you Melissa. It's so great to have you here today. Let's get started. What are the major areas of risk to businesses we tend to think about from flooding?

Melissa Leuck: Well, let's start by defining our terms. What is a flood? A flood is too much water located on normally dry land. It's an overflow of inland or tidal waters. Essentially, we're talking about water where you would not expect it to or want it to be. When you think about flooding, businesses consider three main areas of risk: property, income, and people. For property, we think about damage to real estate and personal property. For income, we focus on the loss of revenue and earnings from business interruption. Related to people, the primary focus is on the impact to a business's employees and customers. But in all areas, businesses with best-in-class risk management programs think far broader.

Dan Kaniewski: So Melissa, I don't think most people understand that flooding is the most common, the most costly, and the most deadly type of natural disaster. Tell us more about that.

Melissa Leuck: Absolutely true. When it comes to natural disasters, flood is the number one in terms of lives lost and property damage. There's been more than $1 trillion lost since 1980 worldwide due to flooding. Every state in the United States is broadly impacted by flooding and a flooding event does not have to be catastrophic to result in real damage.

Dan Kaniewski: That's right. I mean, really any kind of damage that's caused by flood is going to be a loss. And if you don't have insurance, it's not going to be a covered loss. So that may seem like a small amount to you right now, 25,000 or $50,000 but actually it adds up. And especially it adds up if you think about it as, "Oh my God, I have zero coverage."

Melissa Leuck: And one of the things that's always stuck with me is following hurricane Harvey. It was assessed that less than 20% of homeowners had insurance for flood losses. That means that 80% of individuals suffered a loss that they were not necessarily prepared to bear. What alternatives do individuals have to self-insurance or no insurance for flood?

Dan Kaniewski: That's right. The last thing we want is someone to be uninsured for flood. Going back to my former role at FEMA, we had to take care of the uninsured disaster survivors. That's what we do at FEMA,we take care of the most vulnerable. But so many people simply didn't have flood insurance because they didn't realize their homeowners policy didn't cover it. And so what I would often do is try to explain to people and say, "Listen, if you choose not to get flood insurance, you might get some money from FEMA. In fact, in Harvey you got on average about $3,000 from the agency, but if you chose to get insurance, specifically flood insurance, you wouldn't get the $3,000 from FEMA, you would get $117,000 from FEMA." Big difference.

Melissa Leuck: Absolutely, and that's why I think it's so important that we're keeping this front of mind. People tend to focus on what's immediately in front of them and most individuals don't experience flood loss every day, every month, every year or even for several years because that flood isn't front of mind. And so to maintain a conversation and ensure that individuals are talking with their insurance agents and make sure that businesses are talking with their insurance broker and that leadership teams understand how are we going to address flood before it occurs, enables us all to be stronger together.

Dan Kaniewski: And certainly it's not going to get any easier with time, is it? These risks are not decreasing in the future. They're probably increasing, aren't they?

Melissa Leuck : Oh, absolutely. As we look at our climate change, the risk of flood is increasing, as is wildfire. Both of these risks are increasing. If we continue to see sea levels rise, if glaciers were to melt, in those cases, more individuals are going to be impacted by flooding

Dan Kaniewski: And there's things we can do about this. Obviously insurance, any kind of risk transfer mechanism, anything that takes the risk off the backs of individuals or off the backs of businesses and transfers that somewhere else is going to be good. But there's other things we can be doing, right? We could be mitigating those risks upfront. We could be investing in infrastructure, strengthening infrastructure, elevating homes, doing things that will reduce that impact of that disaster and certainly we should all be prepared for disaster. I hope all of us have our disaster kits at the ready and make sure that we and our families can be safe and sound when a disaster strikes.

Melissa Leuck: And this is an opportunity for businesses, with a little bit of preparation, to be far more resilient post loss and also have a positive impact on their community. One of the things I would encourage businesses to do right now is to look at their flood response plan. This is normally part of a business continuity plan or a disaster recovery plan. It's specifically, following loss, how is an empowered individual within an organization or team of individuals going to ensure that an organization responds? That they're able to work with their business vendors to have access to product and that they're able to meet the needs of their customers and their community following a loss.

Melissa Leuck: With Coronavirus, many companies have recently implemented their business continuity response plans. Now's a good time to pause and look at what you've learned from the Coronavirus business continuity implementation. How would that apply to flood? How would that apply to wildfire? How would that apply to other natural disasters? Now is a perfect time to think through how you can be prepared for natural disaster.

Dan Kaniewski: That's a great point. No better time than the present to prepare, right?

Melissa Leuck: Absolutely.

Dan Kaniewski: Now, when I was at FEMA, we had of course a challenging flood seasons. I mean, whether it be inland flood or coastal flood with hurricanes, and then I remember the central US was under water for much of last summer. Then you had wildfire. You had wildfires in California. There's no longer, it seems, a wildfire season. Wildfires seem to be burning all the time.

Dan Kaniewski: How do you deal with those twin challenges of wildfire and flooding, especially out West and in the Midwest where you see this happening with ever more frequency?

Melissa Leuck: Well, I think first of all, as we've talked about throughout this conversation, it's understanding the risk. It's preparedness. When you look at flood following wildfire, it's because the landscape has dramatically changed. Vegetation has been destroyed, soil has been charred, so the ground no longer absorbs water. Hillsides are exposed. You have a very barren landscape, so even a little bit of rain can very quickly drive a flash flood. That downhill water flow can pick up ash and pick up debri, it can create a mud flow. So communities, businesses, individuals that live downhill of areas impacted by wildfire, suddenly now have to also face flood risk. This is also an opportunity where individuals, businesses can work with the public sector.

Melissa Leuck: Dan, what are some of the things you've seen in terms of business and individual interaction with the public sector to mitigate and respond to wildfire and flood following fire risk?

Dan Kaniewski: Yeah, I saw this firsthand in California where the government would certainly be focused on reducing these wildfire risks, but there's only so much the governments can do on their own. As a matter of fact, it depends how you build your home and it depends what actions you take to prepare. But then again, the government should be setting some standards here, especially at the local level with regard to zoning laws, building codes, to help guide the citizens in that area to make sure that they're appropriately taking those actions to reduce wildfire risk.

Melissa Leuck: It's important for people to understand how just a little bit of investment today will yield so much in the future and put them in a position to be resilient and better serve their community and recover following catastrophic loss.

Dan Kaniewski: Absolutely. And we're all in this together, aren't we? Individuals and businesses and governments and from my perspective, we all have to work together. It might sound cheesy, it's like federalism 101, getting the local governments, the state governments, the federal government to work together. That's challenging enough, but we all have a role to play in this don’t we.

Melissa Leuck: We absolutely do.

Dan Kaniewski: Well, Melissa, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate it.

Melissa Leuck: Thank you Dan.

Rob Bailey: Businesses and individuals can take some of the steps Melissa and Dan discussed to mitigate their own exposure to climate risk, but much of the fallout from extreme weather is beyond their means to address. As Dan Kaniewski just mentioned, when catastrophes like massive floods, continental scale wildfires and super storms hit communities, people and businesses alike expect the public sector to support them, but fiscal realities and the magnitude of damages from frequent disasters have strained government's ability to act as the insurer of last resort.

Rob Bailey: Communities face events that used to be once in a generation with shocking regularity today. The risk is too great and resources to scarce for the public sector to continue to foot the whole bill. With growing frequency and success, governments are partnering with the private sector to transfer some of their risk. I spoke with my colleague Ruth Lux, a Public Sector Specialist at Guy Carpenter about these partnerships. We discussed what an effective risk transfer partnership entails and how it mitigates the financial risks of severe weather.

Rob Bailey: Global average temperatures are now one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and the impacts of climate change are becoming more and more apparent in the form of increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather. This is causing challenges for governments which are struggling to adapt, placing strain on public resources in particular. But we're now starting to see promising solutions emerging as governments reassess their exposure and take the necessary steps to improve the public sector's financial resilience.

Rob Bailey: I'm joined today by Ruth Lux of the Public Sector Practice at the reinsurance broker, Guy Carpenter, to discuss these developments.

Rob Bailey: Hello, Ruth.

Ruth Lux: Hi, Rob. Great to be here.

Rob Bailey: Can you give us a bit of an overview of the kinds of perils that governments are now struggling to cope with in that regard?

Ruth Lux: Yeah, for sure. I mean climate scientists and global policy makers simplified the risks that we're talking about with global warming into three major categories. So physical risk, which involves direct damage to property as a result of extreme weather events. A second category would be transition risk, which addresses the potential that there would be an abrupt transition to a low carbon economy, which causes investments to lose value. And finally liability risk, which looks at the risk of being sued for playing a part in creating climate change.

Ruth Lux: These extreme weather events are putting an increasing strain on government finances. It's driving rethink of how catastrophic events are funded and a greater use of public, private partnerships to manage risk. Now some of the most pessimistic scenarios associated with climate change point to major economic and societal upheaval. Sea level rise, for example, brings a wide ranging consequences to coastal properties across the globe. And a warming climate will inevitably result in more frequent and severe wildfires. So effective risk transfer in that context and mitigation strategies will play a crucial role in offsetting wide-ranging financial and socioeconomic impacts.

Rob Bailey: Okay. So you mentioned there in particular sea level rise and the implications that that has for coastal flooding and increasing wildfire risks. What particular burdens do these increasing risks place on governments.

Ruth Lux: Yeah, I mean that's a great question and in the context that I've touched upon, where the future will involve more frequent and more severe weather events, there will inevitably be an increased reliance on governments to absorb more costs. And insurance penetration is already falling behind driving loss trends and the costs of disasters is increasingly being born by governments.

Ruth Lux: The difference between total and insured costs is what we define as the protection gap and this gap is huge. On average, 70% of natural disaster losses are uninsured and that leaves around $1.3 trillion US dollars over the last decade being shouldered by individuals, communities, governments, nonprofits and industry. I think in the 1980s the average annual cost of natural disasters was around 30 billion US dollars per year. In the 90s that jumped up to around 104 billion US dollars per year. And in this decade it now stands at an absolutely staggering $190 billion per year.

Rob Bailey: You mentioned earlier when we were talking that there's a need for more public, private partnerships to help governments manage these risks. Can you explain the typical structure of public, private partnerships between insurers and governments to help cover the costs of natural disaster remediation?

Ruth Lux: Yes. Well, a strong partnership between government and insurers is a prerequisite. Usually a PPP also entails some form of legislation and often the premium is subsidized by a tax or levy or some other source of funding. Sustainability is also very important and there is increasing focus on resilience.

Ruth Lux: I think an interesting example to reference when looking at PPPs is Flood Re in the UK. Household insurance in the UK has historically provided flood coverage to everyone. However, coverage became threatened following persistent flooding in the 1990s and early 2000s. And in response, the UK government together with the private insurance market entered into a series of voluntary agreements to sustain the availability of flood insurance for individuals. These agreements did not address affordability and were not intended to be a permanent solution.

Ruth Lux: Later, we saw that between 2007 and 2016 a series of significant floods occurred across the UK, causing widespread losses. And although floods continued to be covered by insurers, costs and deductibles started to increase. So in 2016 the insurance industry in cooperation with the UK government established a joint initiative, which is Flood Re, to support the availability and the affordability of flood insurance for homeowners most at risk from flooding. And through Flood Re, these risks are then shared with the reinsurance market.

Ruth Lux: So Flood Re transfers approximately 2.2 billion British pounds in flood risk every year to the reinsurance market. The UK government does not provide a backstop to Flood Re, which means that Flood Re is required to purchase enough reinsurance to minimize the possibility of any risk being returned to insurers.

Rob Bailey: So that's a great example of a public, private partnership transferring financial risk of a government's balance sheet effectively. But what about from a proactive risk mitigation standpoint? Do these partnerships help government strengthen their defenses against catastrophes and the creeping effects of climate change?

Ruth Lux: Yeah, I mean absolutely. The most successful ones do and they must in order to combat climate change, risk resilience and mitigation, also say play a central part in any PPP mechanism rather than just providing a financial subsidy. And this is especially the case for emerging risks such as flood and wildfire.

Rob Bailey: Thank you. So that gives a good example of the transfer of financial risk to private markets so that it doesn't reside on the government balance sheet. But can these kinds of public, private partnerships do anything to increase physical resilience, whether that's in, I don't know, building coastal defenses or climate proofing infrastructure or better urban planning or helping people in vulnerable areas take the measures themselves to reduce their own risks?

Ruth Lux: I think the most successful ones do and must. And in order to combat climate change, risk resilience and mitigation really are essential parts in any PPP mechanism, rather than just providing a financial subsidy. This is really the case in emerging risks such as flood and wildfire.

Rob Bailey: I see,so how critical do you think partnerships like that are going to become in the context of increasing risk from natural catastrophes?

Ruth Lux: Well, weather volatility driven by climate change is forcing public sector entities to reconsider levels of climate resilience and to focus on the fundamental problem of under-insurance across broad areas of the economy. And this is also driven by regulatory authorities including the PRA and the OPA. Fender  models have been quite slow to incorporate climate change fully, but that will happen. And in turn, that will impact purchasing and pricing for reinsurance.

Rob Bailey: The news is awash with coverage about the Coronavirus pandemic, which is obviously going to place a very significant strain on the public sector health budgets, for example, and on economies more broadly. What kinds of public, private partnerships might be available to help governments manage pandemic risks like that being presented by the Coronavirus right now?

Ruth Lux: Yeah, well, I mean if there's, dare I say it, any silver lining to this devastating pandemic, it's that it's really focusing people's minds on how real and extensive the threat is, as well as the wide-ranging and devastating impacts of pandemics. Markets will inevitably reopen soon for pandemic risk and they will be keen to write it as an author's diversification to their cap book.

Rob Bailey: Ruth, that was a fascinating conversation. Thank you so much for sharing your insights on this important topic. Thank you very much.

Ruth Lux: Thank you for having me.

Rob Bailey: While businesses and governments reduce the financial toll of extreme weather, investors are seeking their own solutions. More and more, they are influencing corporate behavior to become more sustainable. They are analyzing investment opportunities through the lens of climate risk and sustainable business practices and holding businesses accountable. Sustainable investing has been around for years, but we've seen some recent and important signals that this approach is gaining new traction. In the past year, companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Ikea have made significant commitments to sustainable practices. BlackRock, the largest fund manager in the world announced that it would make sweeping changes to its practices. These changes are meant to reduce the risks to BlackRock's investments posed by climate change.

Rob Bailey: My colleagues, Helga Birgden of Mercer's esponsible nvesting ractice, and Alex Bernhardt, spoke about these developments. They discuss why this is the moment for sustainable investing, who's leading the charge and the impact it has on the way corporations operate.

Alex Bernhardt: Hello, I'm Alex Bernhardt, a Director in the Marsh & McLennan Advantage Group focused on innovation. The sustainable finance trend has advanced considerably in the past few months and years with tremendous implications for financial institutions and a variety of other industries. Experts estimate that environmental, social and governance or ESG concerns impact over $80 trillion in global assets under management. One of those experts happens to be my colleague and former boss, Helga Birgden. Hi there Helga.

Helga Birgden: Hi there, Alex. Great to be here.

Alex Bernhardt: Great to have you. Helga is the Global Business Leader for responsible investment at Mercer and I think that this conversation is going to be a lot like my first day on the job, because I have a lot of questions for you.

Alex Bernhardt: Before we get into the nuts and bolts, I wanted to ask you about your own homestead. From what I understand, you really walk the walk on sustainability, living on a property run on solar and wind energy. What was transitioning to that lifestyle like and what's the low hanging fruit in leading a more sustainable lifestyle for people who don't want it to go completely off the grid?

Helga Birgden: Thanks Alex. Yeah. Living on solar is fantastic. First of all, no energy bills and it's an incredible insight into the power of renewable energy. All this free stuff pouring from the sky. And at first you feel anxious. Can you run the washing machine and a vacuum? Serious domestic questions. And hey, you can. So also when there are severe weather events or blackouts, which happens down under because of storms, you can keep your head torch in the cupboard. You're fine.

Alex Bernhardt: So Helga, in lay terms, what is sustainable investing and how does the practice vary globally?

Helga Birgden: Sustainable investing, as you know Alex, is about capturing new opportunities that contribute to sustainability and also to manage risks. And so we are really focusing in on environmental issues such as the impact of climate change, the physical damages of climate change, for example, on our real asset holdings such as property, infrastructure, social issues such as health and safety. And the current Coronavirus is a great example of an ESG issue and risk that's affecting us. And governance issues such as are the board being remunerated appropriately? Is there complete transparency and proper auditing processes in place? How well is the board governing the company?

Helga Birgden: So sustainable investing is very much about focusing in on these, what we call ESG issues, to manage the risks, but also to get the upswing in sustainable exposures such as exposures to new energy efficiencies and technologies associated with better waste management, cleaner water, sustainable agriculture for example.

Helga Birgden: Globally, there's a lot of variation as to how sustainable investment is being applied, but it's pretty much consistent around the world. Traditionally it rose as an area of investing very strongly in Europe and the UK. The US has been lagging somewhat and there's a very strong growth in Asia and the Pacific. So we are seeing that sustainable investment is understood and applied around the world with some regions focusing in more on the governance aspects. So, for example, in Asia, stewardship, voting and engagement is very important. In other markets such as we can see in Europe with the new European green finance system, a lot of attention being paid to the environmental issues.

Helga Birgden: But overall, the growth of sustainable investment over the last decade has been on an upward trajectory and it's really been accelerating. And that's represented, as you said, in the growth of trillions of dollars of assets under management.

Alex Bernhardt: So Mercer being the largest institutional investment consultant globally works with a ton of different institutions with trillions of dollars of assets under their control. Would you say that investors are leading the charge on the sustainable finance revolution or are they lagging?

Helga Birgden: Investors are leading mainly when they collaborate and so I think that they pack a punch when they get together. And so a good example of that is the task force for climate related financial disclosure, which represents a similar amount to the PRI, around 80 trillion and where investors lead together and decide to disclose or report on what they are doing together. I think that's when we see an impact on markets. It contributes to market reform and it also contributes to the way investors are able to think about managing risks.

Helga Birgden: The task force on climate related financial disclosure, which was set up by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, Chairman of the Financial Stability Board and championed by Michael Bloomberg, really was very clever in setting out some very simple principles for all financial actors to report and measure their progress against. And so that sort of leadership and giving the financial system a very simple framework to work with, I think has been very powerful.

Alex Bernhardt: I know when I worked on your team, Helga, the number one question I got from clients was, "Is this going to hinder our returns in some way if we incorporate ESG factors or if we take a sustainability lens or approach to our investing?" Is that right? And if not, where are the investment opportunities?

Helga Birgden: It is still a challenge. The question of does ESG negatively impact your return is a question that will never go away. It's the old chestnut that keeps coming back. And there is a burden of proof on the question of ESG and whether it hinders or helps investing. But there are, as you know, Alex, so many academic studies, meta studies, the university of Hamburg and Deutsche Bank have undertaken a couple of major studies where over 2,000 studies were looked at to consider the impact of ESG on corporate financial performance.

Helga Birgden: And the 2018 study resoundingly argues that using ESG approaches, techniques, and methods combined with all the traditional skills that are applied to investing skillful asset management data, the right research, et cetera, can contribute to investment return.

Alex Bernhardt: We've discussed where the sustainable finance revolution is today. What do you think is next? Where do we go now and where do we have the biggest gains yet to be made in the sustainable finance arena?

Helga Birgden: The biggest gains to be made really are to embrace these systemic risks and to understand what they mean and the work that we are doing at MMC and through the World Economic Forum and through other large initiatives. Really there is a lot to gain in terms of better understanding and knowledge. And I know I've talked a lot about climate change, but it's a kind of catch all because it goes to governance ofwhat is good governance when you have a systemic risk that is impacting economies, companies, shareholders through the need to transition to a lower carbon economy. So to my mind, the biggest gains will be made when investors commit to a target, which is to reach net zero carbon by 2050 and to measure their progress year on year and to share how they are achieving their progress.

Alex Bernhardt: Helga, thank you very much for sharing your insights with us here today.

Helga Birgden: Thanks so much Alex. As ever, great to talk to you.

Rob Bailey: Climate change is a formidable threat. It requires commitments from national, regional, and municipal governments, businesses, individuals and communities. But leaders across sectors are building the capacity to mitigate and prepare for the threat. The Coronavirus pandemic has appropriately taken center stage in the minds of many of these actors. On our next episode, we will discuss Coronavirus, the solutions we can use to mitigate the impacts of pandemics in the future, and some of the long-lasting changes we may see as a result of this rise. While the pandemic is immediate, the truth is that climate change is also an urgent priority. We must continue to drive change on both fronts.

Rob Bailey: I'm Rob Bailey and thank you for listening to the Marsh & McLennan Advantage.

Alex Bernhardt. Helga Birgden. Melissa Leuck. Ruth Lux. Dan Kaniewski.