Climate protests target reinsurers

Delegates at the Baden Baden Reinsurance Rendezvous came face to face with climate campaigners from across Europe calling for an immediate ban on coverage for fossil fuel related operations.

The Campaigners from a range of groups including the Insure Our Future campaign and Fridays for Future, handed 0ut leaflets, conducted a range of activities outside the Congress Hall which acts as the focal point for the event, under the banner of “Insure Our Future, not fossil fuels.”.

They called for reinsurers to rule out coal from all reinsurance, including treaty reinsurance, to stop insuring all new oil and gas projects and to phase out existing oil and gas insurance in line with the 1.5C Paris Agreement goal.

Spokesperson Kuba Gogolewski said: “The world’s biggest reinsurance companies – Swiss Re, Munich Re, Hannover Re, SCOR, MAPFRE and Lloyd’s of London – are still reinsuring coal through companies like PZU in Poland and OZK in Bulgaria. All reinsurers must close this loophole and stop supporting coal, now.”

He added treaty reinsurance remains a major loophole in reinsurers’ exit from coal.

“While many reinsurers have adopted policies to stop direct coal coverage, only a few have so far publicly committed to phase out coal from their treaty business. Swiss Re and SCOR have said they will start to do so in 2023, and Munich Re has stated that a decarbonisation strategy for treaty reinsurance is currently under development. In the meantime, they continue to reinsure highly polluting coal mines and power plants.”

Lindsay Keenan, European Coordinator, Insure Our Future: “Contradicting their own climate commitments, insurers are profiting from climate destruction by continuing to underwrite the expansion of the oil and gas industry. Allianz, AXA, Munich Re, SCOR and Zurich’s continued support of new oil and gas projects is completely at odds with the Paris Agreement and ignores science. The weight of evidence continues to grow: It’s time for action.”

Insure our Future added: “Burning oil and gas is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Just this week, the International Energy Agency concluded that there is no justification for supporting new oil and gas projects under a net zero scenario and phasing out current operations over time is necessary to stop a rise in global temperature above 1.5C. As society’s risk manager, insurance companies have a responsibility to act on the science and immediately stop insuring all new fossil fuel projects.”

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