VIG strengthens coal policy, but still falls short of Paris climate targets
June 5, 2019
Unfriend Coal today welcomed Austrian insurer VIG’s announcement of a strengthened coal policy, but warned that it does not meet the need for a rapid phase-out of coal to meet Paris climate targets.
The insurer commits to making no new investments in companies which derive more than 30% of sales from coal mining, among other criteria, a significant improvement on its previous 50% threshold. It also commits to reduce “inappropriate” existing coal investments by 50% by 2025, with a complete phase-out deadline of 2035.
In countries which have set plans to phase out coal, VIG commits not to renew risk insurance for coal mines, power plants or companies which derive more than 30% of sale from coal mining, among other criteria. In countries without a coal phase-out plan, the policy now requires existing clients to “present a credible plan for exiting coal-fired generation with a just transition plan within two years”.
Lucie Pinson, European coordinator of the Unfriend Coal campaign, said:
“VIG has significantly improved its coal policy, but it falls short of the urgency required to avoid the dangerous climate crisis. The company does most of its business in Europe, where coal must be phased out by 2030 in order to keep global warming below 1.5C, but it has set no deadline for ending coal insurance and has only set a 2035 deadline for divesting from coal. VIG must drive the transition away from coal and commit to ending underwriting in all countries, not just those with existing coal phase-out strategies.”