Why I am Commited to Cat Bonds
Entropics' meteorologist Martin Hedberg: Working with Cat Bonds enable me to combine policy influence with actually contributing to building resilience.
After my time in the Swedish Armed Forces, Swedish Television and as a meteorologist for expeditions I held numerous seminars and lectures on weather extremes and climate change.
In the early 2000s the level of knowledge among the general public and decision makers was relatively low and most people approached the issue with curiosity, and largely as if it was a philosophical question. A few years later, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency had a major campaign where John Pohlman and I contributed with our expertise by holding lectures for school students and the general public in a large number of locations around the country.
Around 2005 an increased interest in the subject came from decision makers in healthcare, construction, municipalities, schools, the food industry, agriculture, forestry, energy, insurance companies and universities. The reason for this was because:
- Healthcare organisations had to deal with extreme situations.
- The construction industry needed background information for politicians as a basis for new building regulations.
- Municipalities needed to update and practice their emergency plans.
- Schools need to educate both students and teachers.
- Energy companies had to deal with strategies for fossil and renewable energy sources.
- The food industry needed to revise its carbon footprint and develop strategies to meet changing customer demands.
- Forestry and agriculture needed to understand more than the obvious problems of increased likelihood of storms and other weather extremes. They also had to understand what to plant to make the forest tolerant to thriving pests and what will grow well in tomorrow’s climate.
- Insurance companies began to understand the extent of climate change and the direct impact it has on claims and costs.
- The National Defence University needed knowledge regarding the geopolitical implications of weather extremes and climate change for their strategy training.
We, and experts in each area, soon realised that virtually the whole of society is affected, and will be increasingly affected, by weather and climate change.
The discussions that followed almost all our seminars, workshops and training courses have landed in questions like, “What can we do?” “How serious is it?” And “How will we suffer?” Similar discussions and questions pop up again and again. The answers vary as society becomes better equipped for the challenges we face.
Basically, it’s about understanding our complex world and acting in ways that benefit us now and in the future, and creating robustness that will make us resilient to unexpected events, whether they are created by ourselves or had occurred in any case.
Whenever there is an extreme situation, be it a storm, earthquake, fire, torrential rain or drought, there is a great demand on our communities to quickly and efficiently deal with the often-chaotic situation that follows.
For me personally, I continue the work that I and John began just over a decade ago: the dissemination of scientifically based knowledge about climate change, its causes, consequences, and what you can do to manage the many complex issues that arise. Cat bonds gives me the opportunity to both reach out to many decision makers and concretely help communities build resilience against climate change and natural disasters.
/ Martin Hedberg, meteorologist and partner in Entropics.