Munich Re to limit coal involvement in line with Paris Agreement; NGOs welcome announcement but say doesn't go far enough

On 5 August 2018, Munich Re revealed its new coal policy. According to the announcement in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the world’s second largest reinsurer plans to stop offering insurance for new coal-fired power plants and mines in industrialised countries. In addition, Munich Re will no longer invest in shares and bonds of coal companies that generate more than 30% of their revenues in the coal sector. NGOs, including the Unfriend Coal campaign, Urgewald and Avaaz have welcomed the announcement, although they have criticised that the new guidelines are not enough to align Munich Re with the Paris Climate Targets.

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Article
7 August 2018

Munich Re CEO outlines approach to coal

Author: Terry Gangcuangco, Insurance Business

Making the announcement via a guest article in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, chief executive Joachim Wenning said the world’s largest reinsurer [Munich Re] will be limiting its coal involvement, both in terms of investments and insurance coverage, in line with the climate target set by the Paris Agreement.  

“In the individual risk business, where we can see exactly the risks, we will in principle no longer insure new coal-fired power plants or mines in industrialised countries,” said Wenning.

According to a report by German news agency dpa, “in principle” means there will be case-by-case considerations to allow for exemptions. As for shares and bonds, Munich Re will stop investing in firms that generate more than 30% of their revenues from coal business.

For campaigners though, zero support for coal is the only way to go...

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Article
6 August 2018

Munich Re coal announcement: Welcome step, but lacking consequence

Author: Unfriend Coal

The Unfriend Coal campaign, together with Urgewald and the social movement Avaaz, today welcomed the latest announcement by Munich Re CEO Joachim Wenning on his group’s future handling of coal. According to Wenning’s guest article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the world’s second largest reinsurer plans to stop offering insurance for new coal-fired power plants and mines in industrialised countries. In addition, Munich Re will no longer invest in shares and bonds of coal companies that generate more than 30% of their revenues in the coal sector...

German environmental NGO Urgewald said: ... "We are [...] pleased that CEO Joachim Wenning now finally wants to change tack... At the same time, we know that these new guidelines are far from being enough to align Munich Re with the Paris Climate Targets.” ...

Following the new announcement, six major international insurers – Munich Re, Allianz, AXA, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich – have, with differing degrees, restricted the insurance of coal projects. Now, close to half the global reinsurance market has announced a divestment from coal as measured by the share of written premiums...

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