The announcement Lloyd’s was to join the Net Zero Insurance Alliance on the eve of COP26 has cut no ice with climate activists.
The market was the subject of two protects in the same day after 1000 litres of oil was released across Lime Steet in the early hours followed by the creation of a climate justice memorial a few hours later.
Lloyd’s said its decision would see the central fund moved to net zero investments by 2050 and that it would “advocate and support all market participants to introduce and implement their own net zero plans in order to reach a net zero underwriting position for the market by 2050 at the latest”.
However, the Coal Action Network was joined by Youth Strikers from across the world and the Pacific Climate Warriors, to set up a climate justice memorial.
Activists said the climate memorial was “created to remember communities on the front lines of climate breakdown, who are being directly impacted by harmful projects and climate impacts.”
Market staff were asked to speak to senior management in Lloyd’s about ruling out insuring all fossil fuels, as well as, various fossil fuel projects including the Adani Coal mine, tar sands TransMountain pipeline, West Cumbria coal mine, and the Cambo oilfields. The group also called on Lloyd’s to rule out any possible involvement with the Silvertown Tunnel, and for Lloyd’s to pay compensation for climate impacts.
Elara from Coal Action Network said “Through the memorial brought to life the memories of every person harmed by the injustices of the climate crisis. We’ve laid wreaths naming climate wrecking projects we want Lloyd’s of London to rule out underwriting today and help to prevent billions of lives being destroyed by climate impacts. Lloyd’s needs to stop ignoring the climate science and communities being affected by climate breakdown.”
Joseph Sikulu from Pacific Climate Warriors said “Our communities grapple with climate impacts every day. As sea levels rise we risk losing everything. The insurance industry should also understand the business risks of climate change. Climate fuelled disasters like hurricanes and wildfires are costing the industry billions. It is in our shared interests to act by stopping the major driver of global warming: coal. Lloyd’s of London must show leadership now and act on the climate crisis by refusing insurance for climate wrecking coal projects like Adani’s Carmichael mine in Australia.”
In 2020, Lloyd’s published an Environmental, Social and Governance Report. Campaigners said today that its commitments are not enough. Lloyd’s still allows members to acquire new business in these sectors and is continuing to provide them cover until 2030. There is no mention of insurance and investment in coking coal, or other gas and oil projects, despite Lloyd’s being amongst the four largest insurers of fossil fuel projects.
Lindsay Keenan, European Co-ordinator for the global campaign network Insure our Future said “We tried for at least 6 months to engage Lloyds in negotiations about its climate policy. Lloyd’s approach to the climate and its ongoing insurance of the world’s worst fossil fuel projects is greenwash, delay, and business as usual. Frankly, Lloyds is a disgrace and needs much more public and regulatory attention to make its senior managers start to take climate science and its responsibilities seriously.”
Earlier that day members of Insurance rebellion released 1,000 litres of oil outside the building. The one-tonne tank with a banner saying ‘Stop Cambo and Trans Mountain’ was stationed outside the front of the market with Insurance Rebellion is demanding that Lloyd’s stop insuring and investing in all types of fossil fuel immediately.
A spokesperson for Insurance Rebellion, Eve West, said: “I was shocked when I found out that this institution wasn’t just insuring fossil fuels, but insuring the theft of indigenous land illegally stolen by Canada’s government. Canada’s own courts have ruled that the Canadian Government’s actions are unlawful, but Lloyd’s still facilitates tar sands extraction on these lands. There’s an 83% chance of a catastrophic oil spill at the Trans Mountain Pipeline sites on Tsleil-Waututh Nation land in Canada – this is an existential threat to their people and way of life, and Lloyd’s of London doesn’t care one bit as long as it gets its bespoke insurance premiums from the relevant oil companies. We hope our oil spill at their headquarters helps them think about this.”