24/09/2009

The insurance industry is perhaps not up there with charities as an internationally hailed collection of people doing good for the world. But as Mike finds out when he meets Andrew Torrance, the boss of insurance giant Allianz, the industry sees itself as an increasingly crucial aid in helping businesses and communities cope with the changing climate.

Because of the nature of the industry, insurers are one of the few businesses that must adopt a very long term view of the world. That means taking a cold hard look at the statistics showing past incidents of storms, hurricanes and other weather related catastrophes - then projecting ahead 50 years or more. The graph is going up. Andrew admits that means premiums will rise, but that's because the world is getting a riskier place when it comes to the weather, he says.

Don't just think this is about big businesses protecting their interests either, it's not, according to Andrew. As he tells Mike, micro insurance is becoming an important part of the industry. This is about offering farmers in many of the poorer parts of the world insurance in case drought, floods or other weather disasters strike down their harvest.

Also in this week's show, Mike pops round to visit Stuart Robinson, a storm chaser. Have a look at the slideshow below and let him explain his hobby. And we look back at this week's UN summit and that speech by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

As ever, tune in or download the show, then let us know what you think - oneplanet@bbc.com. Remember, you can always write to us, One Planet, BBC World Service, Bush House, London, or join the conversation on our Facebook page, the link's below.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Fri 25 Sep 2009 00:32 GMT

BBC World Service Archive

BBC World Service Archive

This programme was restored as part of the World Service archive project