EPA’s Costing climate change impacts and adaptation in Ireland project, has published a new report: ‘Fit for the future? The reform of flood insurance in Ireland: resolving the data controversy and supporting climate change adaptation’.

The report by Dr Swenja Surminski from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, suggests that the key to sustainable flood insurance is improved data sharing between Government, insurers and other sectors that hold data about flood risks.

The analysis concludes that better data sharing may help to address problems of unaffordable or unavailable flood insurance, which are currently experienced by some homeowners and businesses in Ireland. But the report warns against “short-term, stop-gap efforts” to prop up the existing insurance system, likening such attempts to treating the symptom without treating the cause – increasing flood risk.

Only a “significant increase in efforts to address the underlying risks and to minimise future risks” will secure affordable, available and sustainable insurance for the future.

The report points out that the current discussions about the Flood Insurance Bill and the upcoming consultation about the National Adaptation Framework, expected in June 2017, provide a chance to propose a “radical shift” away from the current approach to flood risk data, and towards greater transparency about flood risk for Government, insurers, businesses, homeowners and other sectors that make decisions affecting future flood resilience.

The research was conducted in collaboration with the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork and is funded by Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Programme 2014-2020.

Source: EPA Newsletter

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