Reinsurer in carbon neutral pledge

Munich Re has announced it is to achieve net zero emission in 2050 and will continue its move away from investments in operations that impact the world’s fight against global warming.

The pledge is part of the group’s Ambitions 2025 programme, which spells out its financial and performance ambitions.

However, the reinsurer said it would not let up on its determination to play a role in the industry’s climate efforts.

“As an environmentally conscientious business, Munich Re will play its part in meeting the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement,” it said in a statement. “The Group has therefore set itself ambitious climate protection targets for its investments, its (re)insurance transactions and its own business operations.”

Under the underwriter’s plans net greenhouse gas emissions in its investment portfolio will first be reduced by 25–29% between now and 2025, before achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The reinsurer said it had already ceased to invest in companies that generate more than 30% of their earnings from coal or by extracting oil from oil sands.

“As for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas (direct and facultative business), Munich Re will be reducing its climate-related industry exposure in such a way that there will be no attributable net CO2 emissions by 2050,” it explained.

In an initial phase, Munich Re said it will seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5% between now and 2025. At the same time, the reinsurer has pledged to reduce its coal-related exposure in its direct and facultative insurance business by 35% worldwide, before eliminating this exposure altogether by 2040.

“Munich Re has already stopped insuring new coal-fired power plants, new coal mines, and oil sands mines,” it said. “In addition, in-house business operations have been climate-neutral since 2015; Munich Re has already cut its CO2 emissions per staff member by 44% since 2009.

“Current CO2 emissions are to be reduced by a further 12% per employee by 2025. Five years thereafter, in 2030, the Group expects to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions from its business operations. In practice, this means that any CO2 emitted by the Group from 2030 onwards would need to be offset by capturing CO2 in the atmosphere.”

“The reinsurer said it had already ceased to invest in companies that generate more than 30% of their earnings from coal or by extracting oil from oil sands.”

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