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.”

Click here to see the Unfriend Coal response to VIG’s first announcement in February.

Get the latest campaign updates on coal, climate and insurance.

  • UnfriendCoal will use the information you provide on this form to provide campaign updates. By submitting this form, you are accepting to receive emails from us. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at peter@sunriseproject.org.au. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our Privacy page. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

    We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.