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Today at COP26, AXA XL launched the Coastal Risk Index (CRI), an innovative tool that maps current and future flood hazard resulting from climate change and integrates for the first time the protective benefits of coastal ecosystems into insurance risk models.

The CRI has been developed in partnership with AXA’s scientific partners, IHE Delft (Netherlands) and University of California, Santa Cruz (USA) and the Government of Canada through the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA). It assesses coastal flooding in the context of climate change by comparing scenarios with and without coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs and mangroves, helping to build the case for nature-based solutions.

Speaking about the announcement at a high-level ministerial roundtable on ocean finance at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, UK, Group Chief Communications, Brand & Sustainability Officer, Ulrike Decoene said: “Our ocean is changing faster than at any time in history. The combined impacts of climate change and expanding coastal development have meant that coastal communities are facing increased ocean-related hazards, such as storm surge and flooding.

“As well as the devastating impact to livelihoods and local communities, rising seas and more dangerous storm events could cost coastal urban areas more than US$1 trillion annually by 2050 . However, the CRI will enable the insurance community to more accurately price risk and help private and public sector clients better understand their exposure to coastal flooding, ultimately helping to build economic and social resilience.”

Chip Cunliffe, Biodiversity Director at AXA XL added: “Mangrove and coral reef ecosystems are key to supporting risk mitigation and adaption efforts against the impacts of climate change. Calculating the resilience value of ecosystems is therefore critical for the lives and livelihoods of those communities on the frontline. With this greater knowledge, the CRI will also lead to more robust strategies to protect and restore these natural assets around the world.”

Alongside the announcement about the CRI, AXA XL also announced that it has put in place additional safeguards to support the detection of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by requiring International Maritime Organization (IMO) numbers for all fishing vessels and refrigerated cargo vessels that it insures and adding further explicit checks on IUU fishing to its Marine Underwriting Rules and Guidelines.

In addition, AXA confirmed its membership and signatory of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles and endorsed the #BackBlue commitment. The AXA Research Fund reiterated its investment of €1 million for research into coastal livelihoods with Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO as part of the UN Decade for Ocean Science and Sustainable Development.

Explore the Coastal Risk Index here.

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1Hallegatte, S., Green, C., Nicholls, R. et al. Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change 3, 802–806 (2013), available at https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1979.

ABOUT AXA XL 
AXA XL*, the property & casualty and specialty risk division of AXA, provides insurance and risk management products and services for mid-sized companies through to large multinationals, and reinsurance solutions to insurance companies globally. We partner with those who move the world forward. To learn more, visit www.axaxl.com.

ABOUT AXA XL* INSURANCE 
AXA XL* Insurance offers property, casualty, professional, financial lines and specialty insurance solutions to mid-sized companies through to large multinationals globally. We partner with those who move the world forward. To learn more, visit www.axaxl.com.

*AXA XL is a division of AXA Group providing products and services through three business groups: AXA XL Insurance, AXA XL Reinsurance and AXA XL Risk Consulting.