Utilities are struggling to find insurance to build new coal power outside China, finds a report released today by the Insure Our Future campaign and Korean non-profit Solutions for Our Climate, which have obtained documents providing a rare snapshot of the state of the industry.
The insurance contracts for KEPCO, Korea’s national power utility, also reveal that it is having to turn to smaller, inexperienced companies to secure cover for coal power plants that are already in operation as growing numbers of mainstream insurers withdraw from the sector.
“Major international insurers have withdrawn from coal projects and been replaced by a haphazard coalition of the willing, consisting of a few global climate laggards, small speciality insurers and assorted companies from the Global South. Our report exposes Starr, Liberty Mutual, Berkshire Hathaway, Allied World and Lloyd's of London as the coal industry’s last lifeline."
When KEPCO insured the construction of Nghi Son 2 in March 2018, most international insurers had yet to adopt coal exit policies. The project was underwritten by numerous large multiline and speciality insurers and reinsurers, led by Germany’s Allianz with $1.1 billion.
By October 2021, when KEPCO insured the construction of the 1.2GW Vung Ang 2 plant in Vietnam for a total $4.4 billion, most large international insurers had withdrawn from the coal market. Asian insurers provided 55% of total capacity, led by Japan’s MS&AD with $1.2 billion of cover, North American insurers provided 38% and European insurers 7%.
Half (53%) of the insurance capacity provided to Vung Ang in October 2021 has now been withdrawn from the market with MS&AD, Sompo and Tokio Marine in Japan, Hiscox in the UK and AIG in the US announcing that they will no longer insure new coal projects. China also announced in September 2021 that it will no longer build coal power projects overseas and Chinese insurers are expected to exit the international market.
Five “insurers of last resort” now provide 72% of the capacity for Vung Ang 2 which is still available for new coal projects: US companies Starr, Berkshire Hathaway and Liberty Mutual (the only insurer with a coal exit policy that allows it to continue covering new projects); Allied World in Bermuda; and eight other insurers operating in the Lloyd’s market. 5
Lloyd’s of London insurers, which include Allied World and two Liberty Mutual subsidiaries, now provide 37% of the capacity still available to the market. In December 2020, Lloyd’s ruled out insuring new coal projects from 2022 but has since made clear that it will not require insurers in its market to follow the policy.
"These findings make clear that the Lloyd's market, Starr, Liberty Mutual, Berkshire Hathaway and Allied World are the world’s coal insurers of last resort. At a time when we urgently need to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels, their reckless support for new coal projects drives us ever closer to unmanageable climate breakdown."
The replacement of large, experienced international insurers with a wide variety of smaller actors also affects the operation of existing coal power plants. In June 2021, KEPCO had to find 24 different insurers to provide $556 million of cover for the operation of its small 206MW Cebu Naga power plant in the Philippines. Eleven were not insuring any other KEPCO projects and one, New India Insurance, lacks the A-credit rating that project financiers typically expect insurers to provide.
Global insurance broker Willis Towers Watson warned as early as January 2019 that “the exodus of many international insurers from the market for coal risks complicates securing property coverage” and “this reduction in available capacity will invariably see upward pressure on rates and coverages.” 6
However, the report also shows that many insurers with coal exit policies are continuing to provide cover for companies such as KEPCO that have no credible plans to phase out coal production. They include leading brands Hannover Re, which only plans to phase out insurance for the biggest coal companies by 2025, SCOR and QBE, which have a 2030 target, and Helvetia, which has no phase-out target.
“KEPCO and other power utilities need to rapidly phase out their coal power fleets in line with global climate targets, and insurance companies should stop insuring power utilities which have no credible phase-out plans. Power utilities and their insurers need to urgently move beyond a pathway which is projected to take the planet to a catastrophic 2.7°C of global warming by the end of the century.”
Only 37% of OECD coal power capacity (100GW) is scheduled to close by 2030 and 6% of non-OECD capacity (100GW) by 2050. 7
The report says that for insurers to align with the Paris target they must:
1 One Earth Climate Model, Sectoral Pathways to Net-Zero Emissions, 18-5-22
2 IEA, Coal power’s sharp rebound is taking it to a new record in 2021, threatening net zero goals, 17-12-21
3 UN, Secretary-General’s closing remarks to Insurance Development Forum, 18-6-21
4 Global Energy Monitor, Global Coal Plant Tracker: Coal-fired Power Capacity By Region, January 2022
5 Beazley, Chaucer, Canopius, Markel, Antares, Cincinnati, AEGIS and W.R. Berkley.
6 Willis Towers Watson, Ready and Waiting? Power and Renewable Energy Market Review 2019
7 Global Energy Monitor, Boom and Bust Coal, April 2022
Last Thursday, 18th May, Coal Action Network protested outside of Lloyd’s of London, for their role in insuring the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMX) and the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
We built a fake pipeline outside Lloyds of London. Through previous actions outside Lloyds of London, we know that there are many sympathetic staff who do not support their workplace insuring the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline. Therefore we are asking staff to sign an open letter to John Neal, CEO of Lloyds of London. The letter demands that he make a clear statement that no Lloyd’s syndicate shall renew or provide insurance for TMX or EACOP, and implement a policy to stop the underwriting of fossil fuel expansion and other carbon-intensive projects by all members of the Lloyd’s marketplace.
We want to shed light onto Lloyd’s of London's appalling environmental record, and the colonialist practices from which Lloyd’s of London grew. From the insurance of slave ships, to the insurance of climate-destroying projects that dispossess indigenous peoples of their land, Lloyd’s of London have blood on their hands.
The TMX pipeline carries diluted bitumen, which is a fossil fuel and the expansion of it leads to further climate catastrophe for local communities and globally. The proposed expansion would transport an additional 590,000 barrels of oil daily, tripling its current capacity.
An increase of this scale cannot be justified at a time when leading scientists have made it clear that there is no room for any additional fossil fuel infrastructure, nor considering the devastating impacts of tar sands specifically. To meet the urgency of the climate crisis, we need to unite together and take action to increase the pressure like never before. In the run-up to Lloyd’s of London’s AGM we have been asked to help indigenous Land Defenders in Canada to cut off insurance to the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
“The Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline threatens my nation and our sacred Sleilwaut (Burrard) inlet; our place of creation. The pipeline poisons our clam beds and violates the rights of many Indigenous communities along its length and at its source. Expanding tar sands extraction and increasing the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline network is nothing less than climate destruction,” said Kayah George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Tulalip Tribes. “The Lloyd's marketplace and syndicates like Arch urgently need to get the message: it’s time to move away from dirty fossil fuels and instead uplift Indigenous rights, a healthy environment, and a stable climate.”
Campaigning efforts to stop the insurance of the TMX pipeline in 2020 led to three insurance companies cutting ties with the pipeline: Zurich (the lead insurer), Munich Re, and Talanx. We are hoping to build on this momentum to drive away more insurers this year. Already this year specialty insurance and reinsurance firms Aspen Insurance and Arch Insurance have confirmed that they do not plan to renew their insurance of the Trans Mountain Tar Sands Oil Pipeline project when its current insurance policy expires this summer.
The confirmation sees 18 insurance companies that have either dropped Trans Mountain or vowed to rule out insuring the Trans Mountain Expansion Project as climate advocates call for the insurance industry to shore up climate strategies. Lloyd’s of London must follow suit.
Lloyd’s of London published its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report two days ahead of its Annual General Meeting on May 19.
Lloyd’s second ESG report is a document almost completely lacking in substance which does more to obscure the climate destroying actions of its members than to shed light on how it intends to reach its often stated net-zero by 2050 ambition. It has almost no information on concrete climate action and raises many serious questions about Lloyd’s.
Most notably, Lloyd’s second ESG report says nothing about the outcomes of the climate commitments it made in its first ESG report released at the end of 2020. Previously, Lloyd’s stated it was asking its managing agents to not provide any new cover for coal-fired plants, coal mines, oil sands and Arctic energy exploration from 1st January 2022. Yet, its current report fails to report on whether or not its members are fulfilling this commitment.
Whilst Lloyd’s ESG report doesn’t tell us, we already know from other sources that not all members of Lloyd’s market have stopped providing new insurance cover for new coal projects.
For example, a recent public report by London based insurance broker Alesco, noted that while many Lloyd’s members have adopted the policy, others continue to accept new coal business.
Why has Lloyd’s, which knows these facts, not been open or honest about them in this report? Which Lloyd’s members are ignoring Lloyd’s stated ambitions? What action is Lloyd’s taking to bring those members into line? What value do Lloyd’s stated climate ambitions and targets have when they are so plainly ignored by some of its members with no consequence?
Instead of addressing these obvious questions Lloyd’s is trying to cover up its failure to deliver on its climate commitments. In other words, Lloyd’s 2021 ESG report is greenwash.
Whilst avoiding mention of its failure to have all members exclude the very worst fossil fuel projects, this report goes much further in the wrong direction. Lloyd’s doubles-down on requiring its members to continue to insure what it terms the “harder-to-abate sectors”, by which it presumably means it plans to adopt no restrictions on new oil and gas exploration. Lloyd’s completely ignores the IPCC, the IEA and others which make clear that no new oil and gas projects are compatible with staying within 1.5C global warming, and that existing production needs to be phased down.
One example of concrete climate action Lloyd’s trumpets is appointing its first Sustainability Director. The ESG report fails to mention that Lloyd’s management gave the role to one of its Senior Public Relations Officers, who had no previous sustainability-related experience. Is that an example of bringing in a great communicator to an important new priority role? Or a classic example of treating ESG as more of a public relations exercise than a substantive issue? What is clear is that the quantity and quality of largely substance free public relations materials from Lloyd’s about sustainability has increased significantly in the last 12 months.
Lloyd’s Council Chair Bruce Carnegie-Brown and its CEO John Neal sign off the report saying:
“We hope this report equips you with a helpful and comprehensive summary of our ESG activity – and we look forward to working with you to build the braver world it imagines.”
In a climate crisis that presents an existential threat to life on earth, Lloyd’s is stuck in its PR bubble talking about sharing risks to create a braver world, when in reality its members provide the insurance cover for, and invest in, climate and human-rights destroying fossil fuel projects and companies.
Lloyd’s new ESG report exemplifies many of the worst aspects of corporate greenwashing. Saying it is committed to net-zero by 2050, but not having detailed targets and not enforcing the targets it does express is not a climate science aligned policy, it is greenwash. Lloyd’s Council, led by its Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown, needs to start taking genuine climate action by ensuring Lloyd’s members stop insuring and investing in new fossil fuels and phase out existing investments and insurance in-line with climate science. Nothing less will do.
Finally, there are a few words in the report that I do agree with:
Rebekah Clement Lloyd’s new Sustainability Director: “The work is nowhere near done…”
David Sansom Lloyd’s Chief Risk officer: “We have much more to do…”
Alesco Energy Update 2022. Page 21: “1 January 2022 saw the introduction of the new Lloyd’s directive as regards to coal; with the initially proposed stance being that no new coal business was to be underwritten from that date. However, in light of subsequent discussions between various parties, there has been a subtle change of emphasis with each syndicate now having a more individual responsibility towards their attitude to the new coal business. Many have chosen to remain with the existing policy of not putting any new coal accounts onto their books; but others have adopted a policy of accepting new business where the client can demonstrate a clear approach to working towards an orderly transition to renewable energy”.
Insurance giant rules out support for new coal, tar sands, and Arctic energy exploration projects and commits to Net Zero emissions by 2050 for underwriting and investments
American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) today announced major new company-wide climate commitments, including commitments to no longer provide underwriting and investments in the construction of any new coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines, or oil sands. Further, the company will stop providing insurance cover and investments in any new Arctic energy exploration.
The commitments, which come after years of pressure from Public Citizen, Insure our Future, and other environmental groups, will also phase out existing underwriting and investments in companies by January 1, 2030 with 30 percent or more of revenue from coal or oil sands, or 30 percent electricity generated from coal.
“As one of the last major insurers without restrictions on coal insurance, AIG’s new commitments to reduce underwriting for coal, tar sands oil, and Arctic oil and gas are a major step forward for people and the planet,” said Hannah Saggau, insurance campaigner with Public Citizen. “AIG has vaulted itself from a laggard in the industry to a leader in the U.S., and we look forward to working with it to meet and improve on these commitments.”
In addition to pumping the brakes on coal and tar sands projects, AIG is also committing to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its underwriting and investment portfolios by 2050 and adopt science-based emissions reduction targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. In the company’s statement, AIG committed to release more information about its phase-out of fossil fuels in the coming months and to provide transparent reporting of its progress.
For over a year, Public Citizen has used direct actions, petition drives, policy advocacy, and behind the scenes pressure aimed at AIG and its CEO Peter Zaffino to demand the company stop supporting the fossil fuel expansion driving the climate crisis.
Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter in the campaign to improve AIG’s fossil fuel policies. AIG joins over 37 companies that have committed to end or restrict insurance for new coal projects, including Travelers, which recently adopted a policy. Among major U.S. insurance companies analyzed in Insure Our Future’s 2021 Scorecard on Insurance, Fossil Fuels, and Climate Change, only Berkshire Hathaway and W.R. Berkley still underwrite coal with no restrictions.
While these commitments represent major steps, the new AIG policy needs clarification and improvement.
“Ending support for coal expansion projects is strong and necessary—and it should be extended to all fossil fuels,” said Saggau. “The International Energy Agency has made it clear that to avoid climate catastrophe, there is no room for any fossil fuel expansion. AIG’s commitment to science-based climate targets should mean an end to all fossil fuel expansion, but today’s announcement doesn’t address that question.”
The new policies could have real impacts on ongoing projects around the world.
Notably, AIG’s commitment makes it the first U.S. insurer to rule out insurance for Arctic energy exploration, which pose grave threats to Indigenous rights and local ecosystems. At least 12 insurers have restricted support for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Refuge. At the same time, however, today’s release from the company does not clearly define what areas of the Arctic nor what kind of energy exploration activities are covered by its commitment, nor does it implement a broader policy to ensure that all of the projects it insures have obtained the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of impacted Indigenous communities.
In Canada, in the most recently publicly available insurance certificate, AIG provided coverage for the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The pipeline is a major environmental hazard and a violation of First Nations’ rights, and its expansion project consists of an entirely new pipeline that would ship more than 590,000 barrels per day of highly polluting tar sands crude oil to the coast of British Columbia. While the commitments released today ruled out insurance for the construction of any new oil sands projects, it is not clear if this includes tar sands transport projects like the Trans Mountain expansion.
“As one of the remaining potential insurers of the Trans Mountain pipeline, AIG’s commitment to rule out insurance for some tar sands projects is a first step but not enough,” said Charlene Aleck, spokesperson for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative. “The Trans Mountain pipeline violates Indigenous rights and threatens our land, water, and climate. With the cost ballooning to C$21.4 billion, and the need for more private investment, this pipeline is as risky as ever. AIG must wake up to the significant financial, reputational, and environmental risks of the highly polluting tar sands sector and explicitly rule out insurance for all new tar sands transport projects.”
Written by Insure Our Future
Adani's mines are supported by the UK's finance industry - providing insurance and funding for it's devastating coal mines in Australia, India and beyond. For the past year, Coal Action Network has supported calls for Lloyd's of London to stop insuring Adani. While many companies have pulled out, Lloyd's continue to refuse to rule out underwriting the Adani mine.
Across India, Adani is facingfor its 800% coal expansion, land grabs, and pollution, including from the Indian tribal Adivasi people who are resisting coal projects which threaten ancestral lands in the Hasdeo forests.
Now, Adani is looking to greenwash its name throughThis is a blatant attempt to trick the British public and gain further support from bankers and insurance executive. Adani is looking to expand its corporate empire and is in desperate need of private finance to do so. We can all be part of cutting that off.
We're looking for people to join us on Twitter and Facebook to combat the lies and demand UK institutions help #StopAdani instead of enabling climate breakdown. Across the world, people are standing up to Adani and their backers. By signing up, you'll get text messages from us with more information on how you can get involved with on social media.
Meeting reveals Neal’s failure to understand the need to stop insuring fossil fuel expansion
On February 16, Insure Our Future network members challenged John Neal, CEO of Lloyd’s of London, on the insurer’s fossil fuel policies and actions in a long awaited, but ultimately very disappointing, on-the-record meeting at Lloyd’s Lime Street headquarters.
The meeting between Neal, Lindsay Keenan, European Coordinator of Insure Our Future, and Mia Watanabe, UK Campaigner at Market Forces, revealed major problems with how Lloyd’s, and in particular its CEO, is addressing the climate crisis. The meeting started with Neal accepting a letter with 137,400 signatures on behalf of SumOfUs, an Insure Our Future network member. The letter demanded Lloyd’s stop supporting new and expansionary coal, oil and gas projects, including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, Trans Mountain pipeline, Adani Carmichael coal mine, and oil drilling by the Bahamas Petroleum Company.
In stark contrast to statements made by Lloyd’s Council Chairman, Bruce Carnegie Brown, and what is clearly written in Lloyd’s December 2020 ESG report, Neal stated that in his view Lloyd’s ESG policy was nothing more than a “‘provocative discussion document”.
Revealingly, Neal claimed that, following the publication of the report, he had been contacted and lobbied by regulators, corporations, and state and national officials from around the world who said they were against the ESG policy and concerned about its ambitions. He confirmed that Lloyd’s had subsequently informed its members the ESG commitments were non-mandatory guidelines.
Despite lending a sympathetic ear to industry stakeholders, Neal was unequivocal in stating that he did not see it as his role to meet with representatives of communities impacted by the fossil fuel projects that Lloyd’s insures or invests in.
While professing to respect climate science and the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2021 report, Neal appeared to not understand nor accept the report’s key finding that there are no new coal mines or oil and gas fields approved for development in a Net Zero by 2050 pathway. Under Neal, Lloyd’s has no plan to align its policies with the IEA findings.
“It is a serious problem that John Neal has not been well enough briefed, or is just personally sceptical, about climate science and the findings of the International Energy Agency. An ESG policy touted by Carnegie-Brown as a ‘plan for becoming a truly sustainable insurance market’ has, under John Neal, become nothing more than a ‘discussion document’ that syndicates can take or leave as they see fit. It is abundantly clear that John Neal prioritises profits at the cost of people and planet, and that under his leadership Lloyd’s policies fail to match its climate rhetoric,” said Lindsay Keenan, European Coordinator of Insure Our Future.
Neal further exposed his disregard for climate action by failing to make a clear commitment that Lloyd’s members would not insure the East African Crude Oil Pipeline and saying Lloyd’s has no current plans to adopt an exclusion policy for oil and gas expansion.
On the Adani Carmichael coal project in Australia, a source of significant controversy for Lloyd’s over the last two years, Neal said that “to the best of my knowledge” the project is no longer insured in the Lloyd’s market. While Neal encouraged syndicates not to underwrite Adani, he refused to give a clear commitment on its status inside Lloyd’s, both now and in the future.
“The #StopAdani campaign has done the work John Neal should have done, and convinced the vast majority of its insurers to commit to never insuring the disastrous Adani Carmichael thermal coal project. Now, Neal needs to come clean and officially clarify if the Lloyd’s market remains exposed to Adani, and make the promise to not insure the climate-wrecking project in the future. If Lloyd’s cannot take this basic step, then its ESG policies have failed their most simple test and Adani Carmichael will continue to be a stain on its reputation,” said Mia Watanabe, UK Campaigner at Market Forces
Lloyd’s stated commitment to transparency is contradicted by its actions. Neal said Lloyd’s expects its members to have robust net-zero ESG plans, but will not ask them to publish those policies. He confirmed that data on insured emissions will be collected at syndicate level, but published only as obscure market wide data. Neal tried to justify the lack of transparency by saying he didn’t want to put additional pressure on Lloyd’s members.
Neal stated many times in the meeting that UK competition law prevents him from mandating marketwide action. Previously, Lloyd’s excuse was that it didn’t have the power to require the implementation of its ESG policy, which was proved false by its own bylaws. Neal now points to competition law as the barrier preventing Lloyd’s from mandating its members stop insuring and investing in specific fossil fuel sectors.
Keenan added, “Neal has no intention of taking marketwide action and is using competition law as his latest excuse. However, it does raise a significant question that must be asked of the UK Competition and Markets Authority regarding whether there is any legal barrier to coordinated industry action to meet climate targets.”
The meeting concluded with Keenan’s challenge for Neal to invite Insure our Future members, climate scientists and impacted communities to meet with Lloyd’s Council and ESG committee, and for Neal to join him in a public debate to clarify and discuss Lloyd’s policies. Neal said he would consider each of these, and appeared to mean it.
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.
Today, the 29th October, on the eve of COP26 climate talks held in Glasgow, Coal Action Network were joined by Youth Strikers from across the world and the Pacific Climate Warriors, to set up a climate justice memorial at Lloyd’s of London HQ. 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.
The Lloyd’s of London insurance market, one of the world's largest insurers of fossil fuel projects.
Elara from Coal Action Network said “The memorial brought to life the memories of every person harmed by the injustices of the climate crisis. We’ve laid wreaths naming climate wrecking projects we want Lloyd’s of London to rule out underwriting today, and help to prevent billions of lives being destroyed by climate impacts. Lloyd’s needs to stop ignoring the climate science and communities being affected by climate breakdown.”
Protesters were joined by 20 Friday for Future MAPA youth strikers, some from communities most affected by climate change globally (including Bangladesh, Philipines, Argentina, Nigeria). Members of the Pacific Climate Warriors who have been calling on Lloyd’s to stop insuring the Adani Carmichael coal mine, brought flowers native to the Pacific Islands to add to the memorial. Representatives gave testimonies from their communities, which included those on the front lines of fossil fuel projects and climate impacts.
Joseph Sikulu from Pacific Climate Warriors said "Our communities grapple with climate impacts everyday. As sea levels rise we risk losing everything. The insurance industry should also understand the business risks of climate change. Climate fuelled disasters like hurricanes and wildfires are costing the industry billions. It is in our shared interests to act by stopping the major driver of global warming: coal. Lloyd's of London must show leadership now and act on the climate crisis by refusing insurance for climate wrecking coal projects like Adani’s Carmichael mine in Australia.”
Lloyd’s in an insurance market, composed of many underwriters and insurance companies. Lloyd’s is known for insuring projects that no one else will, which increasingly includes climate-destroying fossil fuel projects, making it a major global energy insurer.
In 2020, Lloyd’s published a Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) 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. Click here for further information on how Lloyd’s of London helps fuel the climate crisis.
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 visible at: https://lloydsmemorial.netlify.app/
Staff were asked to speak to senior management in Lloyd’s about ruling out insuring all fossil fuels, including specific fossil fuel projects like the Adani coal mine, tar sands carrying TransMountain pipeline, the proposed West Cumbrian coal mine, and the Cambo oilfields. The group also called on Lloyd’s to rule out any possible involvement with the Silvertown Tunnel, and for Lloyd’s to pay compensation for climate impacts.
Elara from Coal Action Network said “The climate crisis is harming the poorest and least responsible of us first and worst. The blame falls squarely at the feet of executives at corporations like Lloyd’s of London. Day after day they decide to profit from death and chaos, by underwriting projects that will lead to climate breakdown, while refusing to insure everyday people against the floods and wildfires they are helping to create.”
This action is the latest to target Lloyd’s of London, including Coal Action Networks previous climate memorial earlier this month on the 8th October. The action today forms part of a Defund Climate Chaos day of action, with groups across the world will take similar actions on the doorsteps of a range of financial and insurance institutions. At Lloyd’s, Coal Action Network’s memorial was preceded today by an ‘oil’ spill at their entrance, organised by others as part of the Defund Climate Chaos day of action. Coal Action Network are also facilitating a climate memorial in Newcastle at the offices of Lloyd’s syndicate Chubb insurance this afternoon.
As they reopened after lockdown, Lloyd's of London and companies involved in their marketplace opened their offices to find local people demanding that they rule out insuring the West Cumbria and Adani coal mines immediately.
It was a great day with actions in 13 locations across the UK. This was the first time that the regional offices of insurance companies have faced coordinated action demanding action on climate change. We stood in solidarity with the communities campaigning gainst the Adani and West Cumbria coal mines.
Helen from Gateshead said: We all have a responsibility to care for our planet and that’s why we’re here today. To show that we need to say no to fossil fuels, to turn our backs on coal. And that’s why we’re calling on Lloyd’s of London to stop insuring all coal mines around the world now.
Zoe, a 50 year old Mum and small business owner from Warrington said “I took part in this local action to be part of giving a bigger national message to Lloyd’s of London, that in 2021 with the planet on fire, it is no longer OK to be insuring fossil fuel projects. Insurance seems such a dry and mundane thing, but when you realise it is crucial to any coal, oil or gas extraction going ahead, then you realise what power these people have. They can literally decide to turn off the emissions tap if they wished to! That means they hold the power of life or death – over many millions, if not billions of people, in the keystrokes of their keyboard, or the flurry of their pen. Imagine having that much potential to do the right thing – they could literally be the world’s greatest climate heros if they chose to be. What a legacy for them to leave their kids…”
Chris from Manchester said "We think that insurance companies , by the nature of their business about future risks, have the resources and motivation to understand the practical implications of the climate emergency and the role fossil fuels play in causing and worsening that emergency. But we don't think they are being open about those risks. We need them to Tell the Truth and my being here demonstrating in Manchester, is part of holding them to account"
We got some great coverage in the insurance press with this journalist calling it how it is!
Lloyd’s response to these protests has resembled a rabbit caught in the headlights. These are sophisticated, well-informed groups armed with data and will not back-off. They will play a part in COP26 so Lloyd’s needs start responding with action.
— David Worsfold (@DavidWorsfold) May 24, 2021
Thanks to everyone who took action on the campaign so far, we are pushing the insurance industry out of coal! This week Adani's biggest contractor revealed it couldn't find an insurance provider that would cover the project
The action we are taking is making a massive difference to keeping the coal in the ground and protecting local communities from mining impacts.
A key to these massive victories has been keeping constant pressure up on the insurance industry. Help keep up the pressure by writing to Lloyd's, and it's 10 biggest insurers to demand they rule out the West Cumbria mine. If you've written before, keep on writing till they rule out the mine.
Thanks again for all your brilliant support,
Major Lloyd’s of London insurers Brit and Hiscox are the latest firms to rule out insurance for Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine project.
Brit was the sixth insurer to stop underwriting risks directly related to or associated with Adani’s Carmichael coal mine project, joining AXA XL, Liberty Mutual, and HDI Talanx, who were insuring the coal mine before ruling out further involvement, and Lloyd’s insurers Apollo and Aspen Re, who committed to stop underwriting the project when active policies expire. Hiscox not only ruled out insuring Adani but brought in policy to stop future insurance for all new coal mines.
Brit and Hiscox’s commitments are major blows to Adani’s disastrous Carmichael coal project. Lloyd’s of London was one of the last places on Earth that Adani could turn to find insurance, and they were one of the largest remaining insurers. Now, Lloyd’s doors are just inches from being closed to Adani, for good.
These announcements came after 750 Coal Action Network supporters flooded the inboxes and phone lines of Brit and Hiscox. This pressure was in solidarity with the ongoing action taken by the Australian Stop Adani movement. Locals in Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast (Australia) had been hounding Brit and Hiscox for months and our combined pressured worked. Now we’re uniting the voices of community members in West Cumbria resisting the Woodhouse Colliery and Australian Stop Adani protesters to push Lloyd’s even further. That's why on the 16th March we're holding an online rally to take action together and plan big bold action for 2021.
Liisa from Stop Adani Coffs Harbour describes the campaign: "For months we got no formal response from Brit. We were getting worried – but we kept at it, sharing our stories, adapting our tactics, and trying new things. We were buoyed by conversations with some Brit staff in London, who were also concerned about the Great Barrier Reef, bushfires and the role of coal in fueling these climate impacts.
Our unrelenting phone calls, emails and calendar reminders, combined with the actions of other #StopAdani groups and our allies in UK, made ripples which grew to a wave that Brit could not ignore."