Accelerating resilience to sea level rise with nature-based insurance

Project Overview

California’s coastal communities face growing, climate-driven threats, including rising seas and frequent flooding, that impact both coastal ecosystems and the people who depend on them. The multi-trillion dollar insurance industry, which increasingly views these same coastal-climate impacts as unchecked risk, can also be a tool for mitigating this risk if activated through climate adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Building on the innovative recommendations established by the California Department of Insurance’s 2021 California Climate Insurance Working Group, Ocean Science Trust (OST) signed a memorandum of agreement with CDI to provide our science services and support on issues pertaining to resilient coasts and oceans. With this new partnership, and alongside partners, such as Resilient Cities Catalyst and academic experts at UC Santa Cruz’s new Center for Coastal Climate Resilience, OST is bringing the power and financial weight of the insurance industry to bear on building climate resilience for California. Among other activities, our work has involved:

  • Convening a workshop in Imperial beach, CA, with policymakers and insurance experts, which helped to break barriers between local government and insurance expertise to brainstorm opportunities for demonstration projects that leverage insurance and nature in the area.
  • Convening a Coastal Resilience Symposium and Workshop titled, “Integrating Nature into Risk Science and Insurance”, with partners in early 2023. The event fostered connections across policy, conservation, and industry expertise, thereby building momentum towards nature-positive insurance solutions across the nation. The event also seeded ideas for the development of pilot projects in California to innovate and test new solutions, as well as other actions the state might take.

Moving forward, OST seeks to support the development of pilot projects seeded in early 2023 by increasing capacity and understanding for insurance and nature-based solutions, and by building a broad coalition of scientists, policymakers, and advocates to advance coastal resilience in California using these innovative tools.

Last updated May 2023, please check this page for updates.

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