Professor Hoeppe’s academic education is in meteorology (Masters and PhD) and human biology (PhD). Since 2004 he has been a Professor for Biometeorology.
Prof. Hoeppe has worked in different institutes at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and as a postdoc at Yale University (USA). In 2004 Prof. Hoeppe joined Munich Re as Head of the Geo Risks Research Department. In 2008 also Munich Re’s newly founded Corporate Climate Centre became part of Prof Hoeppe’s division, which he headed until the end of 2017.
His main areas of research have been effects of atmospheric processes (heat/cold, UV radiation, air pressure fluctuations) and air pollutants (ozone, particles) on humans and the general assessment of environmental risks. Currently, his research focus is on trends of natural catastrophes and their drivers and on strategies to increase the resilience of societies against these perils. A major topic also is the analysis of the effects of climate change on insurance and the development of strategies on how this industry can contribute solutions for the adaptation and mitigation of global warming.
Prof. Hoeppe is a scientific member of many scientific societies, from 1999 to 2002 he has been the President of the International Society of Biometeorology. He has held expert functions in different UN-Organisations. He is the Chairman of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), which he has founded in 2005 and in 2017 has been awarded the UNFCCC “Momentum for Change” award at COP23. From 2006 to 2017 he has been a member of the High-Level Advisory Board for the „OECD International Network on Financial Management of Large-Scale Catastrophes”. In 2007 Prof. Hoeppe has been appointed as Global Warming Advisor of the Bavarian State Government and Chair of the “Finance-Forum: Climate Change” of the high-tech Strategy of the German Federal Government. In 2009 he has been one of the initiators of the Desertec Industrial Initiative. In 2014 he became Chairman of the “Münchener Universitätsgesell-schaft”, the sponsoring association of the “Ludwig-Maximilians-University”, Munich. In July 2018 he has been appointed Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management at Nanyang Technical University, Singapore.
Global warming has become tangible more than ever in the last years. The last four years have been the warmest across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880. 17 of the 18 warmest years since 1880 occurred between 2001 and 2017. 2018 has brought intense heat waves in many regions and has set many new temperature records in the northern hemisphere.
2017 globally has been the costliest year in respect to losses caused by extreme weather events. Especially three disastrous hurricanes with partly record intensities have contributed to this. There is scientific evidence that climate change increases the intensity of tropical cyclones. There is also evidence that climate change already has contributed to more heat waves and more intense thunderstorm related loss events.
195 countries have signed the Paris agreement in 2015 and thus have committed themselves to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to develop adaptation plans to the already unavoidable consequences of global warming. Part of the Paris agreement also is that the industrialized countries will support the developing countries in their adaptation efforts. Climate insurance like the G7 InsuResilience project is part of this. Especially in Southeast Asia, the protection gap is large with only 3.5% of natural disaster losses being insured.
The Paris agreement has increased the pressure on large emitters of greenhouse gases, more and more lawsuits are filed to get compensation from the polluters for increasing losses. As climate science provides more and more evidence for attribution the chances for successful lawsuits are increasing. NGOs are increasing their pressure on large emitters and the financial industry investing and insuring industries with large CO2 emissions.
The World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018 has classified “Extreme weather events”, “Natural disasters” and “Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation” as the current three largest risks.