2/27/17, "Warren Buffett says global warming is not impacting the way Berkshire writes insurance," CNBC, Tom DiChristopher
CEO Warren Buffett on Monday said he has not yet seen sufficient
evidence that climate change is affecting weather events to a degree
that would make him change the way his conglomerate's insurance
businesses write policies.
Events such as Hurricane Sandy
have raised concerns that global warming is increasing the intensity and
frequency of so-called superstorms.
"I have not seen anything yet
that would cause me to change the way we look at evaluating quakes,
tornadoes, hurricanes by atmosphere. Now, that may happen some day," he
told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
He added that the frequency of Florida
hurricanes has been "quite low" for roughly the last decade compared to
historical trends, and storms in the Sunshine State, Texas and the U.S.
Southeast have been "remarkably benign."
Buffett delivered a similar assessment
in last year's annual letter to shareholders. In that letter, he said
climate change had not up until then "produced more frequent nor more
costly hurricanes nor other weather-related events covered by
That caused rates for
super-catastrophe insurance to fall, leading Berkshire to back away from
the products, according to Buffett. Costlier and more frequent
"super-cats" would actually likely benefit Berkshire's insurance
business, he wrote.
At the time the letter was
released, Buffett was facing a proposal from a shareholder that asked
Berkshire to report on the dangers climate change poses to the company's
Research shows it is premature to conclude
greenhouse gas emissions from human activities "have already had a
detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone
activity," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric