Insurers Blame Climate Change For Mounting Catastrophe Losses Yet Still Insure the Fossil Fuel Infrastructure That Exacerbates Wildfires, Mudslides and Flooding
LOS ANGELES, CA --- More than 60 environmental, consumer and social justice organizations petitioned California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today seeking first in the nation emergency regulations to require insurance companies to disclose the fossil fuel projects they insure, even as climate change-exacerbated catastrophes are costing insurance companies billions.
Don Jergler | Insurance Journal | March 14, 2019
Expect calls for the insurance industry to stop investing in or insuring the fossil fuel industry and fossil fuel projects to grow louder in California and throughout the U.S.
A report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) released in late February found that on average, somewhere in the world, a bank, lender, or insurer restricts their funding for the coal sector.
No major US insurance companies are among these financiers ditching coal - when will US insurers’ actions reflect the economic and planetary reality?
While Europe-based global insurers like Swiss Re and Allianz have been moving in the right direction, their U.S. counterparts have been falling farther and farther behind. But one company in the United States has established itself as a leader on this issue: Lemonade. The online home and renters’ insurance company has committed to never investing in fossil fuels.
Ken Silverstein | Forbes | December 7, 2018
Just as 200 nations are meeting in Poland to discuss their climate initiatives, Europe’s insurance sector is unleashing its own plan: it is increasing the pace of its investments in green energy while divesting of some businesses that are carbon intensive. Will American insurers make similar moves?
Julia Kollewe | The Guardian | December 3, 2018
UK and US insurers are lagging far behind European firms when it comes to divesting from coal-heavy businesses and refusing to insure them, campaigners have warned.
At least 19 major insurers holding more than $6tn in assets – a fifth of the industry’s global assets – have now divested from coal, according to a report from the Unfriend Coal campaign, which represents a coalition of a dozen environmental groups including Greenpeace, 350.org and the Sierra Club.
Michael Finney | KGO | December 03, 2018
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In the 1980s and 1990s corporations were accused of enabling apartheid by investing in and doing business with South Africa. The divestiture movement took hold and played a major role in ending the racial separation policy. Now a new divestiture movement is being built. This one concentrates on global weather change.
The Global Climate Action Summit which took place in San Francisco a couple months back made international headlines. But there was one panel that you probably never heard a word about, Insure Our Future.
Report shows European insurers leading on restricting coal industry’s access to underwriting while U.S. insurers undermine action to tackle climate change
U.S. insurance companies are lagging behind their international peers on climate action, reveals Insuring Coal No More, the second annual scorecard on the industry from the Unfriend Coal campaign. U.S. insurers are enabling the construction of new coal-fired power plants, which is undermining international efforts to avoid dangerous climate change, the report warns.
SAN FRANCISCO - As the country’s top insurance regulators and industry representatives gathered at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners meeting on November 15, leading environmental and consumer groups gathered to call attention to the most important item not on their agenda: their part in climate change.
Couldn’t make it to the Insure Our Future panel at the Global Climate Action Summit? Watch the full panel here.
New campaign Insure Our Future to hold US insurers accountable for role in climate change as first US insurance company to commit not to invest in fossil fuels
SAN FRANCISCO - On the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), a new campaign, Insure Our Future, is calling out the U.S. insurance industry as a major contributor to climate change and urging them to ditch fossil fuels. Insure Our Future is the first campaign focusing on the U.S. insurance industry’s significant role in perpetuating climate chaos.
The campaign launches as Lemonade, an insurance company powered by AI, becomes the first U.S. insurer to commit to never invest in fossil fuels, urging other insurers to follow suit.
By Peter Bosshard | Thomson Reuters Foundation
After warning about the escalating risks of climate change for decades, many big insurers are now moving away from coal.
As professional risk managers, insurance companies quietly shape modern society, deciding what type of projects can be financed, built and operated. After warning about the escalating risks of climate change for decades, many big insurers are now moving away from coal. Only the US insurance industry is missing in action.
Sunrise Project | July 24, 2018
SF becomes first US city to push insurance industry to stop insuring coal and tar sands.
By Bill McKibben | May 9, 2017 | La Nacion
RIPTON, VERMONT – Last month, the United Kingdom enjoyed its first full day without the need for coal power since the Industrial Revolution began. That's remarkable news – and a sign of the future to come as the country that began humanity's centuries-long romance with burning black rocks is now moving on.
By Jacques Leslie | March 13, 2018 | Los Angeles Times
Despite being part of an industry predicated on anticipating risk, American insurance companies seem distinctly muddled about climate change.
By Oliver Ralph | January 7, 2018 | Financial Times
The world’s biggest insurers are opening up a new front in efforts to cut down on coal use by refusing to offer cover to miners and power generators that use the polluting fuel. Industry executives are worried about the potential for global warming to drive up insurance claims, leading to a debate about whether to cover companies that contribute to the problem.
VICE News | November 28, 2017
Following last week’s UN climate conference where 23 countries and states signed a $50 million initiative to phase out coal by 2030, VICE News explores how the coal industry is being dumped by insurers.
Peter Bosshard | July 27, 2017 | Huffington Post
As a group, insurance companies are also the second biggest institutional investor in our economy after pension funds. According to Ceres, an environmental research group, 40 leading U.S. insurers had invested at least $459 billion in the fossil fuel sector by the end of 2014. The insurance industry is even more heavily invested in fossil fuels than your average index fund.
By Tom Sanzillo | June 29, 2017 | Pension & Investments
Insurance underpins our industrial society. Without prudent risk management by the insurance industry, no high rise can be built and no major factory can be operated.
By Peter Bosshard | May 15, 2017 | Huffington Post
You can’t drive a car or buy a house without insurance. Likewise, the coal industry can’t get their mines and power plants funded without insurance coverage.
By Peter Bosshard | May 11, 2017 | The Actuary
Insurance companies are responding to climate change in very different ways. Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, commented last year that global warming should not be on the “list of worries” of his shareholders. Insurers have so far been able to adjust their premiums to the growing risks from catastrophic weather events, and according to Buffett, the increased risk “has made insurance companies far more valuable”.
A global clean energy transformation is underway—and it has significant implications for fossil fuel companies and their investors.
This Ceres report, Assets or Liabilities? Fossil Fuel Investments of Leading U.S. Insurers, focuses on the risks to insurance companies—the second-largest type of institutional investor after pension funds based on assets under management.