Insurers call for increased transparency through climate reporting

By Patrizia Kern, Head Marine Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, and IUMI Data & Digitalization Forum Chair

The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance will soon enter into force. They are a framework for quantitatively assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of marine hull insurers' underwriting portfolios. They have been established to engage with the shipping industry and support net-zero insurance as a main focus area. They provide a framework for transparent disclosure based on four principles (Assessment of Climate Alignment, Accountability, Enforcement and Transparency) and they are the first tangible step towards enabling hull & machinery insurers to support ship owners in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This shows the Principles are bringing the shipping industry closer to the implementation of the Conference of the Parties (COP)21 Paris Agreement. Consistency with the policies and ambitions of the Initial GHG Strategy of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a given.

Leading marine insurers, brokers, associations and IUMI make up the founding members of the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance, which were launched in December 2021. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Gard are among the main contributors involved in drafting the Principles under the auspices of the Global Maritime Forum. Extensive expert support was provided by the Swiss Re Institute and UMAS in defining the applicable metrics.

Patrizia Kern, Head Marine at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Chair of the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance drafting committee, proudly announces that there are now seven Signatories in total. "We are so close to the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance officially entering into force as a minimum of eight Signatories is required. Having IUMI as a supporting partner in driving the green transition in the shipping industry is hugely beneficial."

The Principles have received a lot of attention already, featuring in articles by outlets such as Lloyd's List, TradeWinds and Splash 247. The Principles members and supporting partners want to share some background information with the marine industry and its stakeholders with a short presentation video.

Becoming a Signatory provides the opportunity to be a role model and an enabler of change to make the necessary transition from fossil fuels to green alternatives and low-emissions shipping. It can also support ship owners in becoming competitive charterers of the future, improving their reputation and approaching transparency demands in a positive way.

Reporting ship owners will already be well aware of data transparency through using the IMO Data Collection System. With the Principles, a new method of transparency and support between insured parties and the Signatories can be created. Assisting insured parties with their sustainability ambitions and creating financial and reputational benefits for them are great incentives. But early adopters are needed to facilitate the transition. Members and partners of the Principles and the Global Maritime Forum want to support ship owners. The positive experience with the Poseidon Principles for Financial Institutions so far shows that transparency has not been an obstacle.

With the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance, "action above perfection" will be prioritised. They are an outstanding example of a tangible initiative that is actually "walking the walk". Therefore, signing up to the Principles should be powerful motivation for becoming a leader and role model for the shipping industry's green transition, helping to reduce global warming.

If you want to learn more or become a Signatory, please reach out to Heidi Kilemo, Project Coordinator, Global Maritime Forum.