Nigel Brook is a partner at law firm Clyde & Co, where he heads the firm's reinsurance team and leads its global campaign on Resilience and Climate Change Risk.
Nigel has built up an exceptional depth of knowledge and is a leading light in the insurance and legal industries, helping to raise awareness of climate change-related legal duties and potential liabilities.
Among his contributions to the sector, he has played an important role in the Chancery Lane Project and sits on the Law, Regulation and Resilience Policies working group of the Insurance Development Forum – a public/private partnership seeking to extend the use of insurance and the industry's risk management capabilities to protect those most vulnerable to disasters.
Nigel has co-authored many Clyde & Co reports on sustainability-related topics, including parametric insurance, inclusive insurance and climate change liability.
What inspired you to work on climate change issues?
Two main drivers. First, I wanted to explore the many ways in which insurance can help to make the world more resilient against weather-related disasters, which are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.
"Climate change and the associated transition to net-zero represent the single largest challenge and opportunity for this generation"
And secondly, the realisation that climate change and the associated transition to net-zero represent the single largest challenge and opportunity for this generation. Along the way I've met and worked with some hugely imaginative and impressive individuals who are making a real difference.
What are your work priorities right now?
Helping clients to understand climate-related duties of care and the risks posed by climate litigation. And helping them comply with regulatory expectations and reporting requirements.
Tell me one step the insurance industry needs to take, to improve its response to climate change?
Infuse awareness of climate risk (in all its forms) throughout governance and into day-to-day decision-making. And "risk" in this context includes opportunity – lots of it.
Are you optimistic or pessimistic we can avoid the worst effects of climate change?
Cautiously optimistic, partly based of the sea-change in attitudes and awareness that is under way in finance (primarily investment, but also banking and insurance).
What are you doing personally to reduce your climate impact?
I use 100% renewable electricity at home, with plans to install an air-source heat pump so we can ditch the gas boiler. If we had the right roof we'd go solar too!