As Lloyd’s prepares to release its sustainability report next week it has been urged to deliver clarity on its future approach to fossil fuels.
Climate campaign group Insure Our Future has been mounting a concerted campaign against Lloyd’s which is believes is now one of the biggest insurers of a number of controversial coal and tar sands projects.
Speaking exclusively to Emerging Risks Lindsay Keenan, European Co-ordinator for Insure Our Future, said Lloyd’s had to join a growing number of insurers and reinsurers across the world which are refusing to underwrite coal-based risks.
“I have spoken to a lot of people in the insurance market who get the issues” he said. They understand the matrix and the information and know the climate issue is real.”
Mr Keenan said while he understood Lloyd’s did not physically underwrite the risks its brand was ion jeopardy if it did not show clear leadership.
“I appreciate that it is the syndicates that underwrite the risks but I have also seen insurance policies for a new tar sands pipeline project which states it is being underwritten ‘by various syndicates at Lloyd’s’.” he added. “It is Lloyd’s brand and name on the policies.”
Mr Keenan said that the sustainability report which will be published on 17 December needed to show the market that it had a clear direction.
“The sustainability report is set to look at fossil fuels per se, and not just coal,” he added. “I think we have to see at a minimum a set of standards that the market will require syndicates to follow.
“In terms of coal risks, what we would like to see is for Lloyd’s tell the syndicates not to underwrite it in their name. It also needs to deliver a clear road map as to how it will move to the withdrawal from other fossil fuel and carbon intensive risks.”
Mr Keenan said Insure Our Coal has been in discussions with a range of syndicates which have pledged to cease the underwriting of coal risks.
“For Lloyd’s it is no good if 10 syndicates refuse to insure Adani but 20 others are still insuring the projects,” he added. “The public are growing increasingly aware of the role insurance is playing in supporting these projects and it is becoming a real threat to their brands.”
“Take coal, it is 2020 and the science is clear. In larger numbers major companies across the financial services sector are realising there is no future for coal.”
“There are a lot of good people in the insurance sector, fact-based people who get something has to happen, but it is not being matched up with action.”
Mr Keenan added: “I really hope that we will see strong leadership in the sustainability report. However, I am concerned issuing a report so close to Christmas will point to a lack of real action.”