Underwriting climate chaos – briefing paper on coal and insurance
April 26, 2017
Insurance companies have warned about climate change since the 1970s, but continue to enable coal projects by insuring them and investing them. Read this briefing paper about the role insurers play in propping up a climate-destroying industry.
Burning coal is the biggest contributor to climate change. If the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be met, no new coal power plants can be built and existing plants must be retired over the coming decades.
Insurance companies are supposed to protect us from catastrophic risk. Some of them have warned about climate change for more than 25 years. And yet, many of the same companies continue to underwrite new coal projects and invest billions of dollars in coal and other fossil fuel companies to this day. In spite of their rhetoric insurers directly contribute to climate change.
As this briefing paper is about to be published, AXA, the world’s largest insurer, has announced that it will no longer offer insurance services to companies that generate more than half of their revenues from coal. This is an important precedent which shows that progress is possible. Other insurers now need to follow suit.
This briefing paper presents facts and figures on insurance companies and climate change, and calls on the sector to come clean on coal.