An Australian-first collaboration between climate scientists, insurers and the finance sector has produced new guidance for assessing the physical risks – such as tropical cyclones, bushfires and floods – of climate change to homes, buildings and critical infrastructure.

The Climate Measurement Standards Initiative (CMSI) has developed a set of open-source voluntary guidelines that will, for the first time, provide Australian banks, financial institutions and insurers with consistent scientific and technical guidance on how to assess the risk of climate-related damage to their buildings and critical infrastructure from extreme weather events.

The CMSI has been designed specifically to support the G20 Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) that made recommendations on disclosing the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and to enable stakeholders to better understand the financial system’s exposures to climate-related risks.

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), through its Physical Risk and Resilience Working Group, has played a key role in supporting the development of these important new guidelines for assessing physical risk. IGCC General Manager, Crystal Fleming, has participated on the Steering Committee and in the Finance Committee, while many IGCC members participated on both the Finance and the Applications Committees, which have produced these guides.

The guidelines produced through CMSI will help IGCC members to better assess their portfolio for physical risk, invest in resilience and report on their response through the TCFD.

Companies and organisations involved in developing the CMSI guidelines include QBE, Suncorp, IAG, RACQ, NAB, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, HSBC Australia, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Leadenhall Capital Partners, MinterEllison, IGCC and Climate-KIC Australia.

Preeminent scientists from the CSIRO Climate Science Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, and leading universities under the auspices of the National Environmental Science Program’s Earth Systems and Climate Change (ESCC) Hub have led development of the science guidelines.

Read the full CMSI media release

Visit the CMSI website