The Insurance Industry Has a Critical Role To Play In Fighting Climate Change
As we gather for #RIMS2022, we can help U.S. insurance companies transition the world to renewable energy to #InsureOurFuture.
How insurance companies are connected to the climate crisis:
Insurance is required to build new fossil fuel projects.
As the ultimate manager of risk, the insurance industry quietly shapes modern society, deciding what type of energy projects can be built and operated. Without insurance coverage, new fossil fuel projects such as coal plants and tar sands mines cannot be built. Once built, fossil fuel infrastructure locks us into dirty and expensive energy that causes climate change and harms nearby communities.
Insurance companies also invest billions into fossil fuel companies.
Insurance companies also invest customers’ premiums in fossil fuel companies; U.S. insurers have over USD 582 billion invested in fossil fuels, with almost USD 90 billion in coal alone.
What insurers must do to address their role in climate change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has repeatedly underscored the need for urgent climate action to limit global warming to 1.5ºC and maintain a habitable planet for humankind.
Last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA), which publishes the world’s premier energy models, released the Net Zero by 2050 Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector. In this study, the IEA found that “there is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply” and existing fossil fuel operations must be phased out in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and curtail global warming to 1.5ºC, echoing findings from the scientific community.
Following these scientific conclusions, the insurance industry must take immediate and concrete steps to align with the goal of limiting warming to 1.5ºC:
- Immediately cease insuring new and expanded coal, oil, and gas projects.
- Phase out insurance for coal, oil, and gas companies to put us on a credible path to keeping global warming under 1.5°C
- Divest all assets, including assets managed for third parties, from coal, oil, and gas companies that are not aligned with a 1.5ºC pathway.
To date, eight companies, including some of the biggest (re)insurers in the world like Swiss Re and AXA, have committed to end or restrict underwriting for new oil and gas projects. Zero U.S. insurers have done so. That’s why this spring, shareholders have filed resolutions at Chubb, The Hartford, and Travelers, calling on them to stop underwriting all new fossil fuel supply projects.
How does your company stack up?
Many U.S. insurance companies claim to care about the climate crisis, yet they are continuing to underwrite the rampant expansion of oil and gas production that the science shows will cause more intense and devastating heatwaves, storms, wildfires, and other climate-driven disasters. Insurers are talking the talk while failing to walk the walk. Insurance companies’ own statements alongside their actions reveal their hypocrisy:
To date, eight companies, including some of the biggest (re)insurers in the world like Swiss Re and AXA, have committed to end or restrict underwriting for new oil and gas projects. Zero U.S. insurers have done so.
That’s why this spring, shareholders have filed resolutions at Chubb, The Hartford, and Travelers, calling on them to stop underwriting all new fossil fuel supply projects.
We want to hear from you!
If you work at an insurance company and would like to explore how you can help advance solutions to climate change or to learn more about the connection between insurance and climate change, we’d like to chat with you. Please fill out this strictly confidential form.
The Insure Our Future team is here at RIMS and would like to talk with you about how your company can be part of the solution. Contact us at [email protected] for more information or to arrange a meeting with our team.
Insure Our Future is at RIMS 2022 RiskWorld to make our message heard loud and clear by the insurance industry: #DontRiskOurWorld.
Insure Our Future in the U.S. is a campaign of environmental, consumer protection, and grassroots organizations holding the U.S. insurance industry accountable for its role in the climate crisis.
We are here to call attention to the fact that insurers themselves are harming the climate and communities by continuing to underwrite and invest in new oil and gas projects.
This conference focuses on measuring, understanding, and mitigating risk. However, there is practically zero content related to the risks associated with the insurance industry’s role in fueling climate chaos by backing destructive fossil fuel projects.