Greenhouse Gas Spurs Non-Traditional Roles

As managers of industrial concerns around the globe brace themselves to meet restrictions on greenhouse gases, executives at Swiss Re are thinking about the non-traditional insurance and reinsurance opportunities connected to projects designed to reduce carbon emissions.

Providing guaranties to support global trading of carbon emission credits is one such opportunity that the reinsurer is exploring, according to Christopher Walker, associate director and coordinator of Greenhouse Gas Risk Solutions, a unit of the Zurich-based reinsurer.

Mr. Walker spoke to National Underwriter the day after President Bush reiterated in a Rose Garden speech the reasons for not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 international pact that sets emission-cutting targets for industrial nations. Under the terms of the Kyoto agreement, the United States would have to reduce emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels during a five-year commitment period extending from 2008 to 2012.

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