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I am at a legal conference in Paris—how did they pick this beautiful city?  

One of the discussions I repeatedly have had with my new French friends has to do with their change of climate. The Burgundy wine region seems very similar to the western United States suffering from drought. 

In an article from last year, French Vineyards Suffering From Severe Drought in Some Regions, it was noted:

Drought is threatening this year’s vintage in the Gironde around Bordeaux, one of France’s most famous wine regions.

Weather experts say the country has just had its driest July since 1959.

Although vines thrive in an arid climate, there’s only so much they can take.

France’s rural code forbids irrigation from 1 May until harvest, however, some growers have been granted special permission to water their plants this year.

‘The two people who are there each have a hose with a metal tip at the end that allows the water to go straight to the root of the vine,’ explained Paulin Calvet, the owner of du château Picque Caillou. ‘So that this water doesn’t scatter anywhere but stays in the heart of the vine, to make the water really go down the trunk to reach the roots directly.’

This year, Southern France had rainfall for five days that would normally have been over the same five weeks, resulting in severe flooding. 

The French, just like us, talk about how much warmer the climate has been and how much more severe the weather is. It hailed in Paris yesterday and blew over a large tree a block from my hotel. 

Climate change is an international phenomenon and has an impact on property insurance rates on a global basis. 

In a 2021 paper, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors concluded that climate change must be addressed by insurance companies when considering their solvency risk:

  • Supervisors should assess the relevance of climate-related risks for their supervisory objectives. They should collect quantitative and qualitative information on the insurance sector’s exposure to, and management of, physical, transition and liability risks of climate change.
  • Climate-related risks should be considered for inclusion in insurers’ own risk and solvency assessments. It is expected that insurers will adopt appropriate risk management actions to mitigate any identified risks.
  • Insurers should assess the impact from physical and transition risks on their investment portfolio, as well as on their asset-liability management. A forward-looking view, including the use of scenarios, may help insurers gain a better understanding of the risks.
  • Material risks associated with climate change should be disclosed by insurers, in line with Insurance Core Principle ICP 20 (Public Disclosure). Supervisors may use the TCFD Framework when designing best practices or as input for setting their own supervisory objectives

The bottom line is that we in the United States are not alone regarding the impact of climate change on insurance risks and rates. This is an international issue as well. 

I would suggest that one of the benefits we learn from travel is our views on life change as our perspective changes. 

Paris is a beautiful city, and the countryside of France is wonderful. If you get a chance to travel and spend time in the French countryside, you will find it very different than Mark Twain’s comments about the French.  

Thought For The Day

The objects of which Paris folks are fond—literature, art, medicine and adultery.

—Mark Twain