Generali AGM: insurer cuts support for existing coal mines in Poland

May 7, 2019

May 7 2019 

At its AGM today, Generali ruled out insurance for the controversial Turów coal mine in Poland, as well as all existing coal mines in Poland. However, the insurer offered no information on the extent to which the policy will cover both stand-alone and package insurance contracts, a key detail which will determine the impact of the policy.

Turów coal mine is run by Polish company PGE. Although the mine is currently authorized to operate until 2020, PGE intends to both expand the mine and extend operations until 2045. The project is currently insured through stand-alone coverage by several insurers including Generali.

Lucie Pinson, European Coordinator of the Insure Our Future Campaign, said: “Generali has made a positive step to rule out insurance for mines in Poland. German (re)insurers Allianz, Talanx, Munich Re, and Hannover Re should follow suit and rule out all (re)insurance for existing projects. All European coal must be shut down by 2030 to meet the obligations of the Paris Agreement – now is the time to act.”

Generali also announced that it has cut ties with two out of the six companies it has been engaging with regarding climate change concerns, but did not specify which ones. In response to questions about PGE and CEZ, the President of Generali confirmed the companies are not among those excluded, because the insurer believes they are committed to diversifying their energy mix.

“There is no point in engaging with companies that are developing new coal projects. Generali must immediately drop both PGE and CEZ, and we will keep the pressure on them until they do so.” said Alessandro Runci from Re:Common.

In November 2018, Generali ruled out coverage to new coal plants and mines but not existing projects. The insurer also stated it had been engaging with six coal companies since July 2018, and that it would only renew coverage after Q1 2019 for those that presented and implemented a credible plan for a transition away from coal.

This morning, Greenpeace Activists protested outside the annual general meeting of Generali Insurance. “We want to expose Generali for continuing their business on coal with companies that are some of the biggest polluters in Europe, like PGE and CEZ. Despite climate commitments, Generali is still doing business with coal in Poland and the Czech Republic. This is not in line with any climate commitment. This morning the police removed all the activists during the peaceful action, but people all around Europe will continue to ask for climate leadership from Generali and all the insurance companies” said Luca Lacoboni, energy campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Italy.

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