Hot Topic - Climate Change
Dec 16, 2016

LEAD STORY

A landmark agreement on climate change was adopted by 196 countries that were together in Paris at the United Nations Climate Conference and the 21st Conference of Parties. The agreement seeks to limit global warming by each country agreeing to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

A WIN FOR INSURANCE

The insurance industry has been looking at the potential impact climate change can have on insurers and insurance consumers. Insurers have recognized that it is the lack of action to combat climate change that is the true threat to their industry. Losses from extreme events due to climate change can top $1 trillion in a bad year. Disaster declarations due to bad storms went from 16 in 1988 to 242 declarations in 2011.

THE WAIT

Individual countries now must individually approve or ratify the agreement and the agreement won't enter into force until 55 countries have ratified it, accounting for at least 55% of total global gas emissions. The agreement is scheduled to be ratified and signed in April 2016.

ELECTRONIC LOGGING - FMCSA'S FINAL RULE

ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICES

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)announcedthe adoption of a Final Rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD). An ELD automatically records driving time as well as monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven and location information.

INDUSTRY IMPACT

FMCSA anticipates approximately three million drivers will be impacted. It is estimated that ELDs will not only save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries but also more than a $1 billion by reducing the required industry paperwork. Behind taxes filings, the second biggest paperwork burden is hours of services recordkeeping for truck and bus drivers.

DEADLINE

There is a two-year phase-in deadline of December 18, 2017.

MAKING OUR WAY AROUND THE COUNTRY

SENATE HEARING

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a full committee hearing on the ongoing problem of opioid abuse in America. Chairman Lamar Alexander reportedmore than 1,000 Tennesseans die from opioid abuse a year. Alexander's state, Tennessee, was a recipient in September 2015 of a CDC initiative, Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States, to help states combat the ongoing prescription drug overdose epidemic. Last year, Alexander established the HELP Committee's Prescription Drug Abuse Working Group to examine the characteristics and challenges of prescription drug abuse and ways to further address the issue.

FAA

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the registration rule for small unmanned aircraft (UAS) on a web-based system. Registration is required for any UAS weighing more than .55 pounds and less than 55 pounds. With an estimate of a million dronesexpected to be purchased this holiday season, safety is the FAA's top priority and wants users to know airspace rules. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Miller reminded hobbyists to check their coverage. Reminder - rules for commercial use of drones are still being developed and are expected by spring 2016.

QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, OR FEEDBACK?

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

If you received this email you are a member of the initial rollout group for GB's new weekly "The Way." Your insight and input are highly valued and appreciated. Since this is an initial rollout, we ask that you refrain from posting this to social media until we are ready for the larger rollout. As part of our "focus group" we would welcome your feedback on the value and format of this communication. 

Please contact the authors - Greg McKenna and Cari Miller - and let us know how you liked this week's issue. We look forward to and value your feedback.

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