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UK insurers warn of environmental costs

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by Brian Turner
UK insurers warn of environmental costs

Some insurers have joined the chorus of voices telling the G8 industrialized nations that they must act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Association of British Insurers are expected to say in a report to be published on Wednesday that the cost of storm damage would side will likely grow due to climate change by two thirds to £15 billion ($27 billion) per year over the next 70 years.

By the year 2040, the group will say, the cost of US hurricanes alone will go up to $11.4 billion, from $9.5 billion. In a bad year in the 2040s, US hurricanes could cost $71 billion.

The ABI also said that in bad years the cost of typhoons in Japan could rise to £19 billion per year by 2080.

One advisor to the ABI said that these estimates were probably low due to the fact that they did not take into consideration the likely increase in property values and increased volatility in insurance markets.

The report will also say that some costs could be avoided if preventative measures, including the improvement of coastal defenses, are taken.

A separate poll taken by market research group TNS discovered that 7 out of 10 people polled in Europe believe that governments will only act on environmental concerns in the event of an environmental disaster of catastrophic proportions.

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News posted: June 29, 2005

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