Top German (re)insurer Talanx passes on EACOP

Talanx, Germany's third largest insurer, is the latest (re)insurance company to confirm to the #StopEACOP Coalition that they will not (re)insure the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). They join 11 other (re)insurers, including 4 of the world’s biggest (re)insurance companies - Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re, and SCOR.

Talanx follows fast in the steps of three other (re)insurers (Argo Group, Axis Capital and RSA Group), who last week also confirmed they would not be involved in underwriting EACOP.

In an email to a member of the StopEACOP campaign, Talanx's Group Strategy and Sustainability Manager, Dr. Jan-Philippe Lüdtke, stated:

"I can now confirm that there is and will be no involvement in EACOP by Talanx or any of its subsidiaries."

This statement implies that Talanx subsidiary, Lloyd’s of London member Argenta Insurance, will also stay away from the controversial EACOP project.

The total number of (re)insurers who have confirmed they would stay away from EACOP is currently 13.

Despite recent media reports claiming that the EACOP has been fully insured through a local consortium, the #StopEACOP Campaign maintains that the project needs substantial international insurance and reinsurance to proceed. See the full statement here.

“More and more (re)insurers are learning about the many problems that EACOP is bringing to the people of Uganda and Tanzania and the health, social, and climate impacts that the pipeline will leave in its wake, and they are wisely distancing themselves from the project. It is time for other (re)insurance companies to follow suit and refuse to be accomplices to such dreadful projects that are premised to only benefit the oil companies Total and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) at the expense of everyone else,”

- Samuel Okulony, Chief Executive Officer, of Ugandan-based Environment Governance Institute (EGI).

The EACOP project is a climate bomb. Its direction depends on the decisions (re)insurers make today. They have the power to save humanity, to rescue the thousands of people being displaced in Africa, to save the source of the longest river in the world, to save biodiversity that is on the verge of extinction which includes elephants, chimpanzees, giraffes, birds, insects, reptiles, forests, game reserves, rivers and waterfalls that people pay to visit in Africa. All these and more are at their mercy,”

- Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, climate activist and founder of Fridays For Future- Uganda.

“We now have 20 banks, 4 export credit agencies and 13 (re)insurance companies that have confirmed to us that they will not give project financing or underwrite EACOP. The other insurers and banks still considering any involvement in EACOP, like Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Standard Bank-South Africa, and Sumimoto Mitsui Banking Corporation, are putting corporate needs and profits before people’s lives, nature and climate. It is time they choose sides. The whole world is watching and hoping they do what’s right – which is putting people’s lives before corporate greed.”

 - Omar Elmawi, Coordinator of the #StopEACOP Coalition

Now Talanx CEO Torsten Leue must adopt a more comprehensive policy that excludes not just EACOP but all other new oil and gas projects.  Talanx currently lags behind not just its major rival Allianz but also its own subsidiary Hannover Re, both of which adopted more comprehensive policies earlier this year.

“It is good to see Talanx HDI finally join the growing group of insurers who are snubbing EACOP. However, it is also imperative for the company to produce a sensible, comprehensive oil and gas policy that goes beyond oil sands alone. Instead of publicly advertising its expertise as an insurer of onshore and offshore fossil fuel extraction, Talanx HDI ought to swiftly exclude the complete unconventional sector, and in general, all new projects along the oil & gas value chain to then decisively phase out fossil fuels in line with climate science.”

- Regine Richter, Finance and Insurance Campaigner at Urgewald

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