15 May 2017
The far-reaching economic consequences of climate change will be debated at a free public seminar to be hosted by the USC Law School on Monday, 22 May from 5.30pm.
The ‘Climate change and the global insurance industry’ event will feature a presentation by renowned lawyer Chris Rodd on the impacts that increasingly frequent severe weather events could have on the insurance industry and the public.
Mr Rodd’s presentation at USC’s Innovation Centre Auditorium will be followed by a panel discussion with USC’s Sustainability Research Centre Director Professor Tim Smith and Youi Insurance chief actuary Charles Pollack.
USC Senior Lecturer in Law Dr Tim Peters said the expected increase in extreme weather events like floods and cyclones raised fraught questions about whether certain areas would become uninsurable.
“We can already see some areas that are frequently being impacted, such as parts of North Queensland,” he said. “Insurance companies will start to assess if it’s economic for them to insure assets in those areas, and if it’s not, who should bear those risks – individual households and businesses, or governments?
“The panel will discuss whether it’s reasonable for insurance companies to say they won’t insure those places, or if insurance is a service that companies are obliged to provide.
“These are issues we’ll need to consider as severe storms and cyclones occur more regularly, which is why the Law School decided to run this seminar.”
Dr Peters said the seminar would benefit those working in the legal or insurance fields, students and future students, and anyone with an interest in climate change or law.
“Mr Rodd’s lecture will give us an insight into some of the real impacts of climate change on the economy and legal system,” he said.
“Insurance law might seem like a fairly straightforward field, but it will be facing some really complex challenges in the coming decades.”
The event will run from 5.30-7pm at USC’s Innovation Centre, and registration is required by Thursday 18 May. For more information or to register, go to usc.edu.au/lawseminar.
— Gen Kennedy