SCOR and AXA update coal exclusion policies

April 26, 2019

Lucie Pinson, European coordinator of the Unfriend Coal Campaign and campaign adviser for FoE France attended French (re)insurers AXA and SCOR’s AGMs on Wednesday 24 April and Friday 26 April to call on them to scale up their action on climate change and in particular to commit to fully phase out their exposure to coal by 2040.

Both provided positive and encouraging answers.

SCOR committed to no longer provide stand-alone coverage to new coal plants. The company updated its 2017 policy that excluded direct reinsurance for new coal mines and new and existing lignite plants and mines, but not new hard coal plants. Contrary to Hannover Re and Munich Re, SCOR doesn’t leave the door open to new coal projects in certain countries but excludes all coal plants as Swiss Re did a year ago.

AXA did commit to apply its 2017 divestment policies to all third-party assets managed by AXA IM by the end of the year and committed to consider strengthening its exclusion of coal plant developers. Up to now, AXA’s criterion to exclude companies planning more than 3GW left the insurer free to invest in companies planning 44% of the world new coal pipeline, equivalent to the combined capacity of all India and South Africa’s power plants.

However, neither SCOR nor AXA committed to follow Allianz’s 2018 commitment to fully phase out coal underwriting and investment by 2040, in line with climate science and the Paris Agreement climate targets. While AXA stated “we could not live without fossil fuels”, SCOR said “fossil fuels are needed for development”.

Lucie Pinson, said: “AXA and SCOR’s decisions are good news for the climate. SCOR’s commitment sounds a death knell for new coal plants and we hope Allianz will align with AXA’s decision to apply its policy to third party assets. We would have liked AXA not only to consider strengthening its investment exclusions for companies developing new coal-fired power plants, but also to consider their exclusion on the subscription side.

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