Analysing 30 leading primary insurers and reinsurers, assessing their policies on insuring and investing in coal, oil, gas, the 6th Annual Scorecard cuts through the greenwash and sorts the meanest from the greenest. The report highlights progress and loopholes, calls out leaders and laggards, and identifies challenges and opportunities for the year ahead.
The number of coal exit policies has grown from 35 to 41 this past year, with major US insurers known for their role in fossil fuels AIG and Travelers finally getting on board. The market share of insurers with coal exclusions has reached 62% in the reinsurance and 39% in the primary insurance markets.
In terms of new power stations, this is good news: according to the report many of the key laggards that are continuing to underwrite new coal projects lack the capacity and expertise involved in insuring complex large-scale new coal power plants.
There is still a lot of work to do: many companies still have no policies excluding coal, and some of those that do extend only to power stations and thermal coal mines, not coking coal mines. Meanwhile Lloyds of London's coal exclusion guideleines are non-mandatory, and they take on 40% of the global energy market.
Insurance company restrictions on oil and gas are only just starting to catch up with those on coal. The new report shows 13 companies have adopted oil and gas restrictions, compared with 41 on coal.
Be it in the IPCC’s 1.5°C report, the IEA’s Net Zero Roadmap or the One Earth Climate Model, climate scientists are clear that there is no space for any new coal, oil or gas projects in credible pathways to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Yet most insurance companies have not taken this scientific evidence on board and continue to offer support to projects and companies expanding oil and gas production
Some insurers like Liberty Mutual, Chubb and Tokio Marine have adopted some restrictions on coal but actively insure the expansion of the oil and gas industry.
For the second year running, companies were ranked on their policies of Free, Prior and Informed consent: i.e. do they support projects that are in conflict with communities, and respect the right of communities to say no?
In summary, very few of them commit to anything like this.
While Allianz and Swiss Re mention of the right to Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in their policies, AXIS Capital was the first insurer to adopt an explicit policy “to not provide insurance coverage on projects undertaken on indigenous territories without FPIC” in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The policy marks an important breakthrough for the recognition of Indigenous rights and other insurers should emulate it.
“So far, there hasn’t been real regulatory pressure. And there hasn’t been market pressure … as in the short term, it’s still a profitable business. So we think public pressure has really made an essential difference”
- Lindsay Keenan, Insure Our Future (the Guardian)
Not only does this make the pipeline harder to finance, it also informs insurance companies about the damaging impacts of oil and gas pipelines, and is part of the movement to shift the whole industry away from fossil fuels.Sign up here to commit taking regular action with us - it's easy to do from home!
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.
On 15th September 2023, The Guardian reported that Tata Steel accepted Government funding to avoid closing its steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales, by decarbonising it instead – but at a loss of up to 3,000 jobs. The UK Government is providing £500 million, and Tata Steel is expected to provide another £725 million…