Why the Insurance Industry?
Insurance companies are supposed to protect us from catastrophic risks. Yet when it comes to the largest threat to humanity – climate change – insurers are fueling dangerous global warming by perpetuating our dependence on dirty fossil fuels.
You can’t drive a car or buy a house without insurance. Likewise, without insurance, energy companies cannot build or operate destructive fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, oil drilling in the Arctic, liquid natural gas export facilities and coal-fired power plants.
Insurers prop up fossil fuels in two key ways
fossil fuel projects
Insurance coverage allows carbon-intensive projects such as coal plants and tar sands mines and pipelines to be built and operated.
Once built, fossil fuel infrastructure locks us into dirty and expensive energy that fuels extreme weather and harms public health.
Investing in fossil fuel companies
Insurance companies invest customers’ premiums in fossil fuel companies. The 40 largest US insurers hold over $450 billion in coal, oil, gas and electric utility stocks and bonds. They hold a bigger proportion of their investments in fossil fuels than average index funds.
As the ultimate manager of risk, the insurance industry quietly shapes modern society, deciding what type of projects can be built and operated.
Insure Our Future is holding insurers accountable for their continued support of fossil fuels.