05 June 2006

Perhaps insurers?

When I first started promulgating the Social Policy Bond idea I naively thought that government would be the first to issue them. They have the resources, after all, and solving social and environmental problems is a large part of their remit. Since then, and especially since I addressed a meeting at the OECD in Paris a few years ago, I have become convinced that government is too risk-averse and self interested to experiment with a new financial instrument that hands over the responsibility for achieving social goals to the private sector.

I have urged, so far without success (as far as I'm aware), private individuals to issue their own Social Policy Bonds. I have tried and tried to interest philanthropic organisations but with not a single exception they fail even to acknowledge my messages.

Now I am beginning to think insurance companies might be the first to take the Social Policy Bond concept to the point of implementation:
Insurers could use their influence as some of the world's biggest investors to make companies in which they have stakes act more responsibly by encouraging "'climate proof' behaviour from the boards of large corporations", the report says. Source

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