The urgent threat of climate change to our communities, environment, and economies has never been so apparent. Between dire UN reports, striking schoolchildren, and politicians talking about a Green New Deal, the profound crisis and how we respond to it is front and center.
Insurance companies are among those fretting about their future on our warming planet as they face an onslaught of claims after increasingly frequent events like hurricanes and wildfires. But these same companies are also providing insurance coverage for climate-destroying projects like coal plants and oil pipelines, which ensures these projects get the permits and funding they need to be built. On top of that, insurance companies also invest their customers’ premiums in coal, oil, gas and electric utilities – to the tune of $450 billion by the top 40 US insurers.
Rather than insuring the companies causing climate chaos and the economic havoc that will come with it, insurers should do right by their customers and the planet and stop providing insurance for and investing in fossil fuels.
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, a certified B Corporation with $100 million in investments, has committed to never investing in fossil fuels.
And they’re encouraging others in the insurance industry to follow their lead.
“We’re calling on our industry - our reinsurance partners, our competitors, and our colleagues in health and life insurance companies - to join us,” CEO Daniel Schreiber said. “[F]or insurance companies in the business of underwriting polluting projects we have a simple ask: please don’t."
Schreiber explains more in this refreshingly direct video: