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 September 30, 2015 - 8:11 PM EDT
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New World Energy Council Report Calls For New Approach To Managing Extreme Weather Events

Resilient energy needs smarter not just stronger solutions

Safe-Fail not Fail-Safe

New approaches are required for the management and financing of energy infrastructures as companies and governments seek to meet the challenges of increased extreme weather risks. New thinking is needed says the latest report from the World Energy Council, ‘The road to resilience – managing and financing extreme weather risks’.

The report highlights the need for a move from ‘Fail-Safe’ systems that only look at single assets to ‘Safe-Fail’ systems which take a systemic overview of the energy value chain and a more strategic approach to identifying vulnerabilities.

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council said: “We are on a path where today’s unlikely events will be tomorrow’s reality. We need to be smarter and imagine the unlikely. Traditional ‘Fail–Safe’ systems, based on predicted events, no longer operate in isolation. New ‘Safe-Fail’ systems, which recognise that unexpected weather events are occurring and that systems which go down need smarter, not stronger, solutions. This new approach is essential if we are to cope with new weather patterns and phenomena such as the more powerful El Niño currently experienced in many parts of the world.”

To manage and finance resilience against extreme weather risks, the World Energy Council report recommends:

· Clear metrics that deliver robust systems which can recover in the event of a weather catastrophe · A move from ‘Fail-Safe’ to ‘Safe-Fail’ systems that include soft resilience solutions. These recognise that the unexpected can occur and makes contingencies for any extreme event. · New financial instruments such as:

- Weather derivatives that complement traditional re-insurance solutions

- Catastrophe bonds that transfer peak risks to capital markets

- Adaption bonds which ensure funds go towards resilience measures, particularly in vulnerable areas.

As average global temperatures over land and ocean surfaces rose to the highest on record for the period January to June 2015, so have the number of global extreme weather events increased over the past three decades, rising by a factor of more than four from only 38 events in 1980 to 174 events in 2014. In 2014 the global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were US$35bn, with uninsured losses in excess of US$130bn.

In North America when Hurricane Sandy hit Manhattan the lights stayed out for more than three days. In early 2015 in Chile the country experienced the equivalent of 7 years of rain in 12 hours leaving thousands without electricity. And in the Philippines, the cost of recovery from the 2013 typhoon was estimated at more than double the GDP of the country.

With a shift in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, the financial impact of extreme weather events is also rising, driven by a mix of factors that include economic development, population growth and a higher concentration of people and assets in exposed areas.

In conclusion Frei said: “Our report has highlighted that current estimates for the cost of energy system adaptation do not fully account for the additional financing required to accommodate these new emerging risks. We need to ensure that resilience can turn these risks into rewards.”

‘The road to resilience – managing and financing extreme weather risks’ report, which is to be presented at the meeting of G20 energy ministers in Istanbul, Turkey, is the first in a series of reports that addresses the need for more investment and system change to combat the new emerging risks, including extreme weather, the energy water food nexus and cyber risks.

The reports are prepared with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Marsh & McLennan Companies with insights from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and will be delivered ahead of the World Energy Congress to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2016.

To read the full report visit

For more information and interviews contact Vivien Rees, Media Manager on

(+44) 20 3214 0616 or email


Notes to Editors

About the World Energy Council

Founded in 1923, the World Energy Council is the only truly global and inclusive forum for thought-leadership and tangible engagement committed to our sustainable energy future. Our network of over 90 national committees represents over 3000 member organisations including governments, industry and expert institutions. Our mission is to promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all. The World Energy Congress is the world's premier energy gathering. Visit for more information or follow us on Linkedln ( and Twitter @WECouncil (

About Marsh & McLennan Companies

Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC) is a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and people. Marsh ( is a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter ( is a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; Mercer ( is a leader in talent, health, retirement, and investment consulting; and Oliver Wyman ( is a leader in management consulting. With annual revenue of $13 billion and 57,000 colleagues worldwide, Marsh & McLennan Companies provides analysis, advice and transactional capabilities to clients in more than 130 countries. The Company is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and making a positive impact in the communities in which it operates. Visit for more information and follow us on LinkedIn ( and Twitter @MMC_Global (

About Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers innovative, high-quality insurance capacity to mid-sized and large multinational corporations across the globe. Our offerings range from standard risk transfer covers and multi-line programmes, to highly customised solutions tailored to the needs of our clients. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions serves customers from over 50 offices worldwide and is backed by the financial strength of the Swiss Re Group. For more information about Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, please visit or follow us on Twitter @SwissRe_CS.

This information was brought to you by Cision

Vivien Rees, World Energy Council PR Manager
Phone: ( 44) 20 3214 0616 Email:

Source: Business Wire (September 30, 2015 - 8:11 PM EDT)

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