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Why are Connecticut Climate Activists Rallying at a Golf Tournament? The Climate Crisis is Why.

By Connecticut Citizen Action Group

Travelers is one of the top-three insurers of oil and gas worldwide and one of the last major global insurers that has no restrictions on underwriting coal. Climate activists are no longer standing idly by,  we are calling for urgent and bold action.

For over a year, the CT Insure Our Future coalition has called on Travelers insurance to adopt real policies that address their investments and underwriting of fossil fuel projects.

In April 2021, Travelers, the second-largest property and casualty insurer in the US, announced plans to become carbon neutral across its owned operations by 2030. However, that commitment failed to address Travelers’ massive contribution to climate change: its underwriting and investment portfolios.

This is what we call “greenwashing.” 

After multiple attempts to talk with Travelers leadership about their investment and underwriting policies, with no substantive responses, climate activists decided to rally where they could no longer be ignored.

Monday, June 21st, was the Pro-Am day for the annual Travelers Championship Tournament in Cromwell, Connecticut. Activists with the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, along with many other climate and social justice organizations in the area, brought banners and the drumming ensemble, Friendz World Music, to the Travelers Championship Golf Tournament to protest Travelers’ role in the climate crisis.

With its main office in Hartford, Connecticut— known as the insurance capital of the world—Travelers is a Connecticut institution. Travelers has a real opportunity to be a leader in the industry, however their greenwashing policies will not stop the effects of our pending climate crisis.

Travelers continues to invest heavily in these industries, with US $3.5 billion invested according to the most recent available data. Its holdings include oil companies Chevron, Exxon, and Shell; Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation; and pipeline companies Halliburton and Kinder Morgan.

Without insurance, these climate-wrecking projects cannot be built or operated.

Just last week, Connecticut’s General Assembly passed the nation’s first bill requiring the Connecticut Department of Insurance to address the climate-related risks of insurers. It also requires the state insurance regulator to incorporate emissions reduction targets into its supervision and regulation of Connecticut insurers, including Travelers.

Climate-driven disasters are impacting Travelers as well. Global industry losses from natural catastrophes were $82 billion in 2020. In 2018, Travelers recorded after-tax losses of $1.3 billion from natural catastrophes, including $314 million from the Camp Fire in Northern California.

Interested in learning more? Sign up here to join the Connecticut Insure Our Future campaign!

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