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Dr. David Niklaus Bresch | Global Head Sustainability | Director | Group Risk Management

When did you join the CCI?

Our company joined the CCI on May 2013, at the Caribbean Summit of Political and Business Leaders

Why did your company/organization join the CCI?

Swiss Re is committed to help shape climate-resilient development and intends to advance the economics of climate adaptation in the Caribbean region to help Caribbean governments, businesses and societies understand the impact of climate change on their economies - and identify sustainable and ecosystem-based actions to minimize that impact at the lowest cost to society. 

Commissioned by the Caribbean Cat Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) Swiss Re applied its Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology to eight CARICOM countries. The study revealed that the climate risks considered varies significantly across pilot countries, ranging from 1% of GDP in Antigua and Barbuda to 6% of GDP in Jamaica. Overall, risk measured as a proportion of GDP could rise to between 2% and 9% in the high climate change scenario by 2030.

Among the many adaptation measured considered to tackle this challenge, ecosystem based adaptation is among the most cost-effective measures. Investment of one dollar in reef revival bears a loss reduction potential of the order of ten dollars.

How is the CCI important to marine and coastal conservation in the Caribbean?

CCI convenes stakeholders and unites them to join forces and skills to further coastal conservation in the Caribbean.

What are your company's main conservation priority actions under the CCI?

Swiss Re, in collaboration with CCI partner The Nature Conservamcy will explore ways to enhance the Economics of Climate Adaptation and climada, the open-source version of Swiss Re's natural catastrophe loss model, by adding an ecosystem based risk mitigation perspective to natural catastrophe risk modeling and the integration of more accurate comparative cost-benefit analyses that account for benefits derived from coastal ecosystem services. This will enable decision-makers to evaluate cost effectiveness of adaptation options, including nature-based solutions, and better integrate adaptation and improved ecosystem management with economic development and sustainable growth.

Why is conservation important to your company/organization? How does conservation benefit you?

Insurance puts a price tag on risks. Insurance hence not only provides risk coverage, but also furthers risk transparency. This way, insurance incentivizes preparedness and prevention. Nature-based solutions and conservation in general help societies better manage their risk in a pre-emptive fashion. Local communities are not only better protected, but often also better prepared to deal with risks. And ultimately, if risks are properly managed on a local level, insurance coverage remains available and affordable.

Who is your CCI focal point? 

  • name:Dr. David Niklaus Bresch
  • title:Global Head Sustainability and Director
  • dept.:Group Risk Management
  • address:Mythenquai 50/60, 8022 Zurich, Switzerland
  • phone:+41 43 285 63 61
  • fax:+41 43 282 63 61
  • e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Climate change

Given our role as an ultimate risk taker, we are uniquely exposed to the impacts of climate change. We identified climate change as an emerging risk some 20 years ago, and the concern has since evolved into an important component of the company's long-term risk management strategy. Our actions are based on the premise that it is in the interest of our shareholders, clients and employees, the wider stakeholder community and society in general to tackle this issue. Furthermore, we believe that companies can make an effective contribution by developing the numerous business opportunities which climate change has created, or will create in the future.


david bresch

About Dr. David Niklaus Bresch

As Head of Sustainability and Political Risk Management, David's team guides Swiss Re's commitment to provide ethical, environmental and socially responsible financial services. David has been a member of the official Swiss delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since COP15 in Copenhagen 2009.

David serves as member of the adaptation board of the Global network for climate solutions of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, USA, and as steering committee member of ProClim, Switzerland as well as a board member of WWF Switzerland. He is a member of the advisory board of the Department of Environmental System Sciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), where he lectures on economics of climate adaptation.


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