Wanted: a political framework
Further, it cites a study that had shown the rainfalls have become more intense in Asia in the past 50 years. "2010 was consequently an extreme event within the framework of a longer-term trend."
Monsoon flooding also hit western India and southeastern China. For its part, Australia experienced one of the worst floods in its recorded history. Heavy rains and flooding did serious damage in Germany, Poland, Slovakia and other areas of Eastern Europe during the spring and summer last year.
From the insurer's perspective, global climate negotiators achieved their minimum objectives in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of 2010. That alone opens the door to the possibility that a post-Kyoto Protocol accord could be reached. However, the United States never ratified the Kyoto Protocol that set binding emissions limits, and China is still considered a developing nation that doesn't fall under any binding limits.
"If the two biggest CO2-emitting countries were left out, however, the follow-up protocol to be negotiated in Durban [South Africa] in 2011 would be nothing more than a paper tiger," says the report. "The climate can never be efficiently protected in this way."
The insurer urged Europe's emissions trading program to continue operating, even as negotiators debate the post-Kyoto framework. Munich Re pointed to an uptick in business interest, noting "a clear political signal showing that industry has, to a large extent, already pushed ahead on climate protection, and that a political framework must now be established to ensure the further development of climate protection."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500