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Commentary: It's time for insurance companies to unfriend coal

Author: Peter Bosshard, The Actuary, Published on: 17 May 2017

Walk the walk on climate change, 11 May 2017

Insurance companies are responding to climate change in very different ways…It would however be shortsighted for insurers to see global warming foremost as a business opportunity. Standards & Poor's has warned that climate change may "lead to a sudden increase in the risk and volatility of weather losses if certain tipping points are reached” … Some insurers are offering premium incentives for low-carbon technologies…A new report by Profundo finds that the insurance industry has not yet aligned itself with the goals of the Paris Agreement. According to the research firm, 15 leading European insurance and reinsurance companies have invested at least $131 billion in coal and other fossil fuel companies…In recent years, a rapidly growing list of investors has decided to divest from coal and other fossil fuel companies….The list includes seven insurance companies - Aegon, Allianz, Aviva, AXA, HCF, SCOR and Storebrand - which have agreed to divest from the coal sector…Last month AXA…announced that it would no longer offer property and casualty insurance to the coal companies from which it had divested….will Allianz, Generali, Swiss Re or Munich Re be next to unfriend coal? By making coal projects uninsurable, they could make a major contribution to the climate goals of the Paris Agreement…

 

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Related companies: Aegon Allianz AMB Generali AXA Munich Re SCOR Standard & Poor's (part of S&P Global) Storebrand Swiss Re