Generali supports Europe’s most polluting companies despite its proclaimed coal policy
April 7, 2021
A few weeks before Generali’s shareholder meeting, scheduled for April 29, Re:Common and Greenpeace Italia release an Italian publication and English brief which shows that Generali is one of the key players in supporting the European coal sector, particularly in countries that still strongly depend on the most polluting of fossil fuels: Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany.
Despite its 2018 coal policy, Generali’s investments in coal companies still amount to 203 million euros, including 20 million in RWE, the most polluting company in Europe. In fact, Generali labeled Poland and the Czech Republic as “exceptions” to its commitments made in 2018. Thanks to this loophole, the insurer still insures and invests in PGE and ČEZ, state-controlled companies in Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively, which have among the highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe.
The role of insurance companies in fossil projects is decisive: mines, power plants, oil and gas pipelines cannot not operate without insurance coverage. Generali is no exception in this, without forgetting the role it plays as an investor and asset manager on behalf of third parties, as is the case, for example, for some Polish pension funds.
Simone Ogno, Re:Common, says: “It is unfathomable that insurers continue to underwrite and invest in coal. If Generali wants to take the current climate emergency seriously, it must immediately cease all relations with companies that do not plan to exit coal by 2030. In the year that Italy holds the presidency of the G20 and the vice-presidency of COP26, Generali cannot continue to hide behind slogans that color its black business green.”