Climate Change and the Bottom Line

Climate Change and the Bottom Line

Did you know that you, personally, are paying a lot of money for climate change? As the planet warms, extreme weather events become more frequent and severe. You pay the price through your taxes and your insurance premiums.

Don't think this is a real issue? Consider the following responses to a survey of insurers regarding their approaches to climate change.

Progressive : "Extreme global weather volatility could increase risk financing costs. Risk financing is the process by which a company secures the appropriate funds to cover unexpected financial losses arising from a risk that the company has deliberately retained. Both capacity in the reinsurance market and availability of capital from the catastrophe bond market could, theoretically, become constrained after the occurrence of extreme weather events."

Regarding its insurance arm, Berkshire Hathaway said: "General Reinsurance Company believes that its commercial, residential, and marine property classes may be at risk because of climate change. Unanticipated and adverse changes in the frequency or severity of natural catastrophes likely means that actual losses will exceed pricing assumptions."

Swiss Re has been sounding the alarm on this issue for some time now, and it has been adjusting its business model and product structuring accordingly.

John Vechey of PopCap Games recently joined The Motley Fool for a climate change summit. His first panel guests were Dr. Rachel Cleetus and Dr. Joe Casola. Rachel is a Climate Economist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Joe is Program Director for Science and Impacts at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). They had a lot to say about this topic.

What can businesses and governments do to protect against the economic impact of severe weather events that seem to just keep coming? Joe sees two possible responses: mitigation and resilience. Watch the video to learn more.

We, the taxpayers, end up footing the bill for extreme weather events. More generally, tax increases that took effect at the beginning of 2013 affected nearly every American taxpayer. But with the right planning, you can take steps to take control of your taxes and potentially even lower your tax bill. In our brand-new special report, "How You Can Fight Back Against Higher Taxes," the Motley Fool's tax experts run through what to watch out for in doing your tax planning this year. With its concrete advice on how to cut taxes for decades to come, you won't want to miss out. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

The article Climate Change and the Bottom Line originally appeared on

Sara Murphy has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow her on Twitter @SMurphSmiles. The Motley Fool recommends Progressive. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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