28_Swiss Reinsurance

Insuring confidence in Kyoto

The 36 countries that agreed to the Kyoto Protocol targets are racing the clock. They have just six years to reduce or offset around 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases--and those goals are legally binding. Add to that a bureaucratic approval process for Kyoto-related projects, with about 4,000 slated for developing countries, and you have one risk-laden market. Global reinsurer Swiss Re saw a green opportunity and recently began offering insurance for Kyoto projects. So if a wind farm in Brazil produces only 20 carbon credits, and not 100 as anticipated, the investor is protected. The idea's simple, says Ben Lashkari, a Swiss Re director: "It builds confidence in the market."

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