Go to latest

Seton Hall Students joined by local activists to urge Chubb Insurance to act to protect the Arctic Refuge

New York City – On Thursday December 1st, Seton Hall Students joined local activists in New York City to support efforts to defend the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. Organizers delivered almost 70,000 petition signatures urging the CEO of Chubb Insurance, Evan Greenberg, to join other insurance companies across the globe in committing to not underwrite or insure oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Refuge. The coastal plain of the refuge is the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd and sacred to Gwich’in people. In addition, the refuge is renowned for its vast array of wildlife, including animals like polar bears, wolves, moose and millions of migratory birds. 

In a letter delivered to Chubb with the petitions, Gwich’in Steering Committee Executive Director Bernadette Demientieff said:

Bernadette Demientieff

Gwich’in Steering Committee Executive Director

“The Arctic Refuge is known to the Gwich’in people as “Izhik Gwatsan Goodnaii Goodlit”(The Sacred Place Where Life Begins). The Gwich’in culture is intertwined with the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and we have been advocating not just for the caribou but for our lands and ways of life, which are all interconnected.”

Since the Arctic Refuge was opened to drilling in the 2017 Tax Act, these groups have been working to convince major banks and insurance companies to make commitments and issue policies that they will not finance or insure drilling in the refuge. The Gwich’in and their allies have met with and convinced six of the largest banks in the United States, the five largest banks in Canada, and 18 other international banks to issue policies against financing drilling in the Arctic Refuge. Seventeen international insurers have established similar policies, but to date no American insurer has issued a clear policy to protect the Arctic Refuge.

One thousand petitions were from students at Rutgers University and Seton Hall University, representing the next generation of potential insurance industry employees. Representing campus activists was Aditya Casina, a first-year student at Seton Hall University. 

Aditya Casina

first-year student at Seton Hall University

“Students at Seton Hall want Chubb insurance to see that protecting the Arctic Refuge is important to college students. Corporations need to be held accountable when choosing where they do business. Chubb has the opportunity to help protect one of our last unspoiled places.” 

Mary Sweeters

Senior Campaigner for the Sunrise Project

“Members of the Gwich'in Nation, shareholders, and citizens concerned about climate change are all calling on Chubb's CEO, Evan Greenberg to stop contributing to the climate emergency and Indigenous rights violations. It's past time that Chubb rule out underwriting oil and gas drilling, starting in the Arctic Refuge, and meet with the Gwich'in Nation to implement a Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) policy."   

The attendees delivered a letter from the Gwich’in Steering Committee and boxes containing the petition signatures to the company’s New York City office. 

The event was organized by a coalition led by the Gwich’in Steering Committee including New Jersey-based organizers and students. 

Media Contact:

Seneca Nelson
Field Organizer, Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign

Share this article