Mitigation of the earth's economy

a viable strategy for insurance systems

Liam Phelan, Ann Henderson-Sellers, Ros Taplin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes reflexive mitigation as an ecologically effective insurance system response to dangerous anthropogenic climate change. Reflexive mitigation is an adaptive approach to mitigating climate change recognizing (1) atmospheric CO2e concentrations consistent with Earth system stability will vary over time in response to changes in the Earth system and the global economy, and in the relationship between them; and (2) relationships between the Earth system, the economy and the insurance system are evolving, and therefore understanding of them is necessarily incomplete. The paper presents a complex adaptive systems approach to anthropogenic climate change and demonstrates that the Earth system, the global economy and the insurance system are connected social ecological systems. Current insurance system responses to anthropogenic climate change are generally adaptive and weakly mitigative rather than strongly mitigative. The paper argues successful insurance system adaptation to anthropogenic climate change depends on returning the climate to a stable, familiar and relatively predictable state: effective mitigation is therefore a necessary precondition for successful longer-term insurance system adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Economic, social and political elements of climate change
EditorsWalter Leal Filho
Place of PublicationBerlin ; New York
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783642147753
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventOnline Climate Change Conference (2nd : 2009) - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 2 Nov 20096 Nov 2009

Publication series

NameClimate change management
ISSN (Print)1610-2010


ConferenceOnline Climate Change Conference (2nd : 2009)
CityHamburg, Germany


  • Adaptation with grace
  • Adaptive cycle
  • Climate change
  • Complex adaptive systems
  • Insurance
  • Reflexive mitigation
  • Social-ecological systems

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