Insuring Nature

by Carolyn Kousky & Sarah E. Light

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Abstract

Scholars and policymakers have argued that insurance can shape behavior in ways that mitigate climate risks, such as by providing financial incentives to property owners to safeguard their property from increasingly intense hurricanes or from the risk of sea-level rise. But natural ecosystems like coral reefs, mangroves, and forest ecosystems can themselves protect property from these increased climate risks. This Article turns the climate governance literature on its head, examining the circumstances under which it is possible to insure nature itself in order to preserve these critical ecosystem services in the face of a changing climate.

Insuring Nature

by Carolyn Kousky & Sarah E. Light

Click here for a PDF file of this article

Abstract

Scholars and policymakers have argued that insurance can shape behavior in ways that mitigate climate risks, such as by providing financial incentives to property owners to safeguard their property from increasingly intense hurricanes or from the risk of sea-level rise. But natural ecosystems like coral reefs, mangroves, and forest ecosystems can themselves protect property from these increased climate risks. This Article turns the climate governance literature on its head, examining the circumstances under which it is possible to insure nature itself in order to preserve these critical ecosystem services in the face of a changing climate.