Every year, the Insure Our Future network publishes an open letter to the CEOs of 30 major insurance companies whose fossil fuel policies are ranked annually by Insure Our Future, among which are: AIG, Allianz, AXA, Chubb, Generali, Liberty Mutual, Lloyd’s of London, Munich Re, SCOR, Sinosure, SOMPO, Tokio Marine and Zurich.
The letter outlines insurers’ critical role in the climate crisis and concrete actions they must take if they are serious about supporting the global goal of limiting climate change to 1.5°C.
The updated topline actions that Insure Our Future demands of insurers are that they:
- Immediately stop offering any insurance services which support the expansion of coal, oil and gas production and within two years phase out all insurance services for fossil fuel companies which are not aligned with a credible 1.5ºC pathway.
- Immediately divest all assets, including assets managed for third parties, from coal, oil, and gas companies that are not aligned with a credible 1.5ºC pathway.
In the last few years many insurers have adopted policies which have helped accelerate the shift away from coal and more recently some leading insurers have started to adopt policies to exclude new oil and gas projects. A welcome trend that is set to continue. However, overall the industry has failed to align its business with the scientific consensus on what is required to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Some insurers argue that they are engaging their energy sector customers in a dialogue about the net zero transition and that this can encourage them to transition faster than excluding them from their insurance and investment portfolios. But major oil and gas producers show no signs of adopting credible net zero pathways and some have recently even walked back the weak commitments they have made in the past, despite their recent obscene record profits.
As the UN Secretary-General said recently, “2023 is a year of reckoning.” “It must be a year of game-changing climate action. No more baby steps. No more excuses. No more greenwashing.”