Brief: Insurance Commission of WA chief executive Rod Whithear believes we have a choice: save the planet or save capitalism.

Speaking at an insurance investment forum in Sydney on Tuesday, he told the room that for companies, cutting emissions is at odds with the realities of serving up what the world needs in steaks, roads and energy.

“It is almost a choice of which one is going to win, economic demand or the environmental pressures,” Whithear told the audience of compulsory third-party, workers’ compensation and major reinsurers, as reported by the AFR.

His pearls of wisdom were followed by a presentation from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, which has been urging regulators to consider the financial risks associated with climate change.

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