At the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, we’ve been reflecting on the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests and marches around the world and what they mean for us and our work. Scientifically, there are no biologically-determined races. However, anti-blackness, institutional racism, and structural inequality continues to undermine our inherent human rights and affect people’s lives and freedoms in the US, in Germany, where MCII is based, and around the world. We recognize that racism and inequality also intersect with climate change and increase vulnerability to natural hazards. Rich and emerging countries are the largest emitters and contributors to climate change, while low-income countries are disproportionately impacted by the consequences of climate change. Further, within countries, black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are often disproportionately exposed to and suffer from pollution, extreme temperatures, dangerous air and water, and limited economic opportunity at a much higher rate than white and higher-income communities.
At MCII, we strive for a world where vulnerable people have access to and can afford protection against extreme weather. We strive to empower people to better cope with the negative impacts of climate change, foster resilient societies, and facilitate sustainable development. MCII and our partner organizations are continuously looking for ways to close the climate protection gap, yet this work cannot be achieved without a recognition of how the climate crisis is deeply intertwined with wealth and income, structural racism, and privilege. If we do not better understand all of these facets of the climate crisis and integrate them into our work, we will not succeed in our mission to support the most vulnerable.
MCII is committed to increasing diversity and rooting out unconscious bias within our organization. In our work, we commit to exploring how to more-fully incorporate intersectionality into MCII activities and projects while fully recognizing the dignity and inherent human rights of the individuals, families, and communities with which we work. Both internally and externally, MCII will listen to, learn from, and share the work of black academics and practitioners, as well as indigenous experts and experts of color. While we join the world to fight back against racism and anti-blackness, the global community must simultaneously manage the impacts of COVID-19 and support partner countries in their efforts to respond to hurricanes, food crises, and other emergencies. In a world of compounding risks and vulnerabilities, there can be no climate justice without BIPOC justice. Black lives matter.