Last Friday 29th October, on the eve of COP26 climate talks, Coal Action Network, Extinction Rebellion North East and Newcastle Youth4Climate set up a climate justice memorial at Chubb Insurance (116 Quayside). 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. Members of local campaigns against coal mining - from West Cumbria, Dewley Hill and Pont Valley - also spoke at the memorial.
Jack from Newcastle Youth4Climate said "In our memorial, we remember the damage the climate crisis has caused and reflect on what the future may hold for our planet and its young people. By doing this, we are reminding the companies on our doorstep that they are directly profiting from and responsible for the loss of lives, nature and communities from the climate crisis."
Chubb Insurance is a syndicate of the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. Composed of many underwriters and insurance companies, Lloyd’s and its members are known for insuring projects that no one else will, which increasingly includes climate-destroying fossil fuel projects. Without this insurance, these projects would struggle to succeed, making insurance a major weak spot for the mining industry.
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.
Protesters were joined by activists from West Cumbria, Defend Dewley Hill and Protect Pont Valley, who spoke about their experiences of resistance to extractivist coal projects in their communities, and why financial companies like Lloyd’s need to urgently rule out insuring them. The memorial also used soundscapes from testimony previously compiled, including those of members of the Pacific Climate Warriors and of the Wangan and Jagalingou People (who are the traditional custodians of the land where Adani want to build the Carmichael coal mine), insured by Lloyd’s and Chubb.
June Davison, from the Campaign to Protect Pont Valley said: “We have seen first hand the damage that opencast coal extraction can cause, and the destruction for local communities. We have learned that the opencast site that Banks operated near our home was minute compared to mining in other parts of the world, including the Hambach Forest in Germany and the Adani mine in Australia. We know that financial institutions have supported opencast in the North East of England, and it is short sighted that Lloyd’s would insure the most devastating fossil fuel in existence.”
Members of the public laid hundreds of flowers and messages to Lloyd’s of London from over 4,500 people across the world were hung outside the offices, as well as delivered to Lloyd’s Chairman, Bruce Carnegie Brown. These messages are also viewable online at: https://lloydsclimatememorial.org/ .
This action is the latest to target Lloyd’s of London and Chubb Insurance, including a previous action that happened in May at the same location. The action today forms part of a Defund Climate Chaos day of action, with groups across the world taking similar actions on the doorsteps of a range of financial and insurance institutions. On the same day, in the morning in London, Coal Action Network facilitated a climate memorial at Lloyd’s HQ.
We’re excited to let you know that you can finally watch FINITE online now on Vimeo On Demand, by renting or buying the film.
FINITE: The Climate of Change is an inspiring insider’s view of communities in the UK and Germany putting their bodies on the line to fight back against coal mining. Featuring Coal Action Network alongside local people in the Pont Valley, Durham…
We are an environmental organisation dedicated to ending coal mining and use in the UK for the sake of our collective climate and ecosystems. So you’d think we’d celebrate the claim by Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd that it will finally stop mining coal today at Ffos-y-fran in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. But we’re not. Because the abject failure of Merthyr County Borough Council to stop…
People hailing from Cumbria to London, and everywhere in between, descended on the Mines and Money Conference in London across two days (28th-29th Nov 2023). We demanded that investors stop pouring cash into the mining sector, and instead invest in our collective future. Together with Fossil Free London and other groups, we greeted investors with…
The insurers that have ruled out underwriting the mine are AEGIS Managing Agency, Argenta Syndicate Management, Hannover Re and Talanx. These are the first financial institutions to rule out any involvement with the project, and the win represents a new phase in the campaign to stop the project from going ahead.
Today’s global actions focused specifically on the state-owned China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim), and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). Sinosure is said to be in advanced talks with the Ugandan government about providing credit for the project.
On 18th October dozens of protesters staged a sit-in occupation of the plush City of London offices of ten Lloyd’s of London insurers demanding they rule out insuring the proposed West Cumbria coal mine and East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Global mining companies are coming to London soon attempting to find investors in their ruinous projects at the Mines and Money Conference (28th to 30th November). Join our protests against it!
01 September 2022: Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd applies for a S.73 time extension to mine coal from Ffos-y-fran, and to accordingly delay and vary restoration works.
06 September 2022: Planning permission ends for coal mining at the Ffos-y-fran site, after 15 years and 3 months of operations.
12 September 2022: first reports to MTCBC have been made by local residents of coaling beyond the end of planning permission.
Over 30 Welsh NGOs and businesses have signed a letter to Welsh Minister Julie James and Deputy Minister Lee Waters, demanding they draw a line in the sand and announce ban on any further coal mines on Welsh soil. The letter was delivered on 11th October 2023.