From: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ
Published September 25, 2017 05:21 PM

Climate insurance is rarely well thought out in agriculture

Internationally subsidised agricultural insurance is intended to protect farmers in developing countries from the effects of climate change. However, it can also lead to undesirable ecological and social side effects, as UFZ researchers and their US colleagues at the University of Oregon have explained in a review article in the latest issue of Global Environmental Change. The article also contains recommendations for improved insurance schemes which in future should also take account of ecological and social aspects in addition to economic issues.

The effects of climate change are felt particularly acutely in developing countries. A range of international initiatives develop and promote risk insurance. One example is the G7 climate risk insurance initiative InsuResilience, which aims to insure 400 million people in developing countries against climate-related risks by 2020. The initiative includes "agricultural insurance", which is designed to insure farmers against major losses, for example as a result of extreme drought. "Agricultural insurance can be a secure and extremely helpful tool for farmers in affected areas," according to Dr Birgit Müller, socio-ecological modeller at UFZ. "However, in their current format, the insurance policies are not always well thought out. They can bring about unwanted environmental and social side effects, and so do little to help farmers adjust to long-term changes in environmental conditions."

Read more at Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ

Photo: The effects of climate change are felt particularly acutely in developing countries.

Credit: UFZ / André Künzelmann

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