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Munich Re Group’s climate-related disclosure

Download CR Report 2020 p. 45
Climate change, predominantly the result of human activity, is real and has a major influence on weather-related natural disasters. Science provides ever clearer evidence of this fact, although to differing degrees depending on region and type of hazard. Munich Re is a pioneer in the analysis of how anthropogenic global warming and natural climatic variability impact losses caused by weather-related natural disasters. For the past four decades, we have researched risks, loss prevention measures and new risk transfer solutions. In addition, we examine long-term data on meteorology and losses to better understand changes in risk.

Our integrated climate-related disclosure

In Munich Re Group’s integrated climate-related disclosure we present how we deal with the challenges and risks of climate change. Content and structure follow the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) in addressing our governance, strategy, risk management as well as metrics and targets with regard to climate change.

Governance

The management of risks and opportunities arising from climate change is an integral component of Munich Re’s strategy. All material issues relating to climate are decided on Board of Management (BoM) level and dealt with on management level at various departments across Munich Re Group.

Strategy

Since 2008, Munich Re has a holistic climate strategy in place, which has been continuously evolved since then. In December 2020, we went one step further with the full integration of our new decarbonisation strategy into the Munich Re business strategy Ambition 2025. Our Group-wide objective is to contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

Our decarbonisation strategy is an integral part of our overall climate strategy and circles around three core domains: assets, liabilities and our own emissions. As part of Munich Re’s Ambition 2025, we introduced a series of bold targets for our pathway towards further decarbonising our business until 2050, with 2025 marking the first important milestone on this journey.

By 2050, we want to achieve:

Assets:

  • Net-zero across our investment portfolio by 2050, which is underlined by our membership in the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA)

Liabilities (facultative, direct and primary (re)insurance business):

  • Net-zero in the (re-)insurance of oil and gas production by 2050
  • A full exit from thermal coal-related (re-)insurance by 2040
  • Further, we work on establishing transparency on coal exposure in our treaty business and plan next steps by 2023

Own operations:

  • Net-zero emissions across our own operations by 2030
Strategy
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Risk Management

Our climate change-related risk management is closely aligned with our approaches and measures described in the strategy section.  Munich Re Group adopts a strategic approach to climate change risks, which potentially affect the value drivers within the global risk and asset landscape covered by the Group.

Munich Re’s Group Chief Risk Officer (CRO) is responsible for organising and implementing an adequate risk management system at Group level. Risk management functions at the respective business units report to the CRO. This includes all climate change-related risks. In managing risks related to climate change, we draw on the expertise of our scientists, specialist underwriters, lawyers, economists, risk managers and actuaries in a company-wide risk management process. Climate change-related risks are monitored, evaluated and integrated into Munich Re’s risk management system and involve several methodical steps:

  • Identifying and assessing physical climate risks
  • Modelling and steering of physical risks
  • Identifying, assessing and responding to transition risks and opportunities
  • Scenario analysis
  • Portfolio analysis (insurance and investments)

Metrics and targes 

Through our Ambition 2025, we have set ourselves specific milestone targets up until 2050, with 2025 marking a crucial first milestone. An important factor in our decarbonisation strategy is to distinguish between the concepts of carbon neutrality and net-zero. In order to genuinely decarbonise the world, we need to reduce our emissions as much as possible and remove the rest from the atmosphere. We believe our commitment to net-zero across the three pillars of assets, liabilities and our own operations will help promote new and sustainable ways of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Assets:
By 2025, we will reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions in our investment portfolio relating to listed equities, corporates and real estate by 25–29%, before achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. We have also set specific sector targets for thermal coal (reduction of 35% CO2e) and oil and gas (25% CO2e).

Liabilities:
On the liability side, over the next five years, we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal and oil and gas underwriting by 35% and 5%, respectively (facultative, direct and primary (re)insurance business).

Own CO2 emissions:
As part of our new climate ambition we will further reduce our emissions by 12% per employee by 2025 compared to 2019 and ultimately become net-zero across our operations by 2030.

Our commitment to protection against climate risks

For many years, Munich Re has played an active role in a range of national and international climate protection organisations, such as the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Global Climate Forum. We wish to contribute our expertise as a valuable partner for political decision-makers, organisations and other enterprises.

Particularly in emerging and developing countries, it is essential to promote adaptation to climate change in the form of insurance-related risk management mechanisms. Munich Re supports the InsuResilience initiative. Founded in 2015 by the G7 countries, this initiative aims to enable an additional 400 million people in developing and emerging countries to access insurance products covering weather and climate risks by 2020.
The Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) was founded back in 2005, following an initiative by Munich Re and representatives from the World Bank, NGOs and academia. Since then, MCII has participated in the global climate negotiations (COPs), providing suggestions on risk management. MCII has also provided technical support in the discussions on dealing with losses from climate change under the UNFCCC Loss and Damage programme and the Warsaw International Mechanism.
Our climate protection activities concentrate on the Tackling Climate Change Together (TCCT) initiative, which is driven by both Munich Re and ERGO. This initiative was taken to the next level in 2020 when the Boards of Munich Re and ERGO decided to support ecosystem-based adaptation initiatives – in addition to the ongoing sponsorship of start-ups that offer climate change related solutions.
Together with our partner, Climate-KIC, the largest public-private climate initiative in the EU, we are promoting climate-friendly technologies at a very early stage. The accelerator programme is aimed at cleantech start-ups whose technologies and business models offer responses to climate change. Munich Re and ERGO select start-ups, which will be supported for six to eighteen months. The promotion takes the form of financing, but also involves consulting from experts, who support the companies as mentors. Depending on the level of development of the start-up, sponsorship can last from the initial idea through to market maturity and beyond. Further information on this is available on the project website.