Insurers withdrawing cover for coal projects

The number of insurers withdrawing cover for coal-based projects has doubled in 2019, the Unfriend Coal campaign has claimed as it revealed its third annual scorecard on insurance, coal and climate change.

Coal exit policies have been announced by 17 of the world’s biggest insurers controlling 46 per cent of the reinsurance market and 9.5 per cent of the primary insurance market. Most refuse to insure new mines and power plants, while industry leaders have ended cover for existing coal projects and the companies that operate them, and adopted similar policies for tar sands.

Insurers have also divested coal from roughly $8.9tr of investments – over one-third (37 per cent) of the industry’s global assets.

Peter Bosshard, coordinator of the Unfriend Coal campaign, said: “The role of insurers is to manage society’s risks – it is their duty and in their own interest to help avoid climate breakdown. The industry’s retreat from coal is gathering pace as public pressure on the fossil fuel industry and its supporters grows. However, major US and Asian insurers continue to undermine international climate action by insuring and investing in coal projects.”

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