We hosted government and business leaders along with scientific and environmental experts to discuss the impact of climate change on the natural disasters that devastate American communities at the Climate Change: Response and Resilience Leadership Forum at Columbia University in New York City on November 20, 2019.  

Communities throughout the United States suffer from the damaging and sometimes devastating effects of tornadoes, floods, droughts and other natural disasters. Additionally, this is the fourth consecutive year that the Atlantic hurricane season has delivered an above-average number of storms and the fifth consecutive year that a storm has formed before the official start of the season.

Sponsored by RenaissanceRe, the forum was the 14th in a series of award-winning events aimed at developing risk mitigation techniques to safeguard communities and supporting efforts that reduce economic turmoil following disasters. In conjunction with Columbia University’s Earth Institute, the Climate Change: Response and Resilience Leadership Forum featured 30 expert speakers who explored how policymakers and government agencies can better protect communities facing extreme weather events.

“There is no doubt that climate change is making extreme weather events more frequent and more severe. Communities across America and the world are increasingly exposed to climate-related risks including floods, hurricanes and wildfires,” said Stephen Weinstein, group general counsel of RenaissanceRe and chairman of the RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation. “We are pleased so many thought leaders gathered together to tackle these urgent issues and improve our nation’s response to these destructive events. Through collaboration and innovation, we can work together to enhance the physical and financial resilience of households, businesses and governments in even the most high-risk regions.”

Experts gathered for the Climate Change: Response and Resilience Leadership Forum at Columbia University in New York City on November 20, 2019 included, Back row from left to right: David I. Maurstad, FEMA, Dail Rowe, WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., Craig Tillman, WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., Stephen Weinstein, RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation, RJ Lehmann, R Street, Arlene Fiore, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Daniel Dietch, Mayor, Town of Surfside, Adam Sobel, Columbia University, Robert Field, Columbia University, Sean Solomon, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Front row from left to right: Peter Sousounis, AIR, Michael Cohen, RenaissanceRe, Jessie Ritter, National Wildlife Federation, Chia-Ying Lee, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Beth Dwyer, Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Roy Wright, Insurance Institute for Business & Homes Safety, John Huff, Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers


"The Environmental Justice Wake-Up Call", by Lisa Friedman and Julia Rosen, New York Times - June 17, 2020
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"Hurricane season is upon us. We must prepare now", by John Huff, Steve Ellis, Steve Pociask, Robert Moore, Jeff Kupfer and Dave Sampson, South Florida Sentinel - June 17, 2020
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"This Hurricane Season, the coronavirus pandemic is complicating disaster response plans", by Rachel Cohen, The Intercept - June 15, 2020
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"Thousands fled for their lives when two Michigan dams collapsed. More disasters are coming, experts say", by Erin Einhom, NBC News - June 13, 2020
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"Tougher Building Codes Would Avert Major Losses, FEMA Study Shows", by Thomas Frank, Scientific American - June 13, 2020
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"Live Near Water? You Probably Paid Too Much for Your House", by A.A. Francis, Real Daily - June 4, 2020
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"A busy hurricane season and the coronavirus pandemic 'is a cataclysmic scenario'", by Doyle Rice, USA Today - June 1, 2020
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