Climate link to rise in terrorism to be investigated

UK terrorism insurer of last resort, Pool Re, has launched a new partnership to look at how climate change is impacting global terrorism.

The underwriters said the initiative was “symbolic of the devastating and far-reaching impact of climate change”. It will see Pool Re enter into a global partnership with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).

START, based at the University of Maryland in the US, with the cooperation of  International Forum of Terrorism Risk (Re)Insurance Pools (IFTRIP), the largest global terrorism pools forum, and Pool Re Solutions, will produce a series of rapid reports underlining the impact climate change is having on the drivers of terrorism, examining both the current and contemporary threats and global regional outlooks.

Bill Braniff, director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) said: “Climate change will be the most impactful global issue of our time, and because negative outcomes are inevitable, it is critical that we invest now in a dedicated research agenda to help governments, the private sector and communities to direct resources effectively to treat, transfer or terminate risks.

“This study represents a critical and pragmatic contribution focused on implications for human and economic security.  In truth, we are already observing violence, criminality, and terrorism brought about directly and indirectly by climate change; this study will therefore serve as a call to action on an urgent issue.”

The research will provide possible actions and recommendations of how to mitigate the risk. These will be presented at the next International Forum of Terrorism Risk (Re) Insurance Pools (IFTRIP) meeting in Washington DC in May 2022.

“The momentum for this project has been building for some time,” said the joint statement.

Pool Re said the three ways in which climate change and terrorism appear to interact are revealed as:

  • as an indirect contributor,
  • as an ideological driver,
  • as a tool with which to control populations.

“Terrorism poses significant implications for the insurance industry, governments and others interested in the issue of resilience, and it is hoped the study will be able to provide valuable data and analytics to measure and define the likely impacts of climate change on the terrorism landscape,” the three added.

Julian Enoizi, Pool Re CEO and IFTRIP secretariat, said: “We are delighted to partner with START, who already hold a distinguished reputation in the field of terrorism research. Pool Re is pleased to promote this as one of the initiatives to highlight and provide a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities the industry is facing.

“The threats and risks connected to climate change cannot simply be measured by natural disasters or extreme weather events. Climate change is causing poverty, destabilisation and mass migration on an unprecedented scale, all of which could lead to some serious challenges as regards terrorism if we don’t tackle climate change.”

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