Spain’s Mapfre will stop insuring new coal plants and mines – 9th insurer to restrict underwriting

March 11, 2019

Spain’s Mapfre is to stop insuring new coal plants and mines, becoming the ninth insurer to announce restrictions for its cover to coal.

In a statement Mapfre also re-announced that it will end investment in energy companies that derive more than 30% of income from coal. The company also announced plans to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Lucie Pinson, European Coordinator of the Insure Our Future Campaign, said: “Mapfre’s announcement comes just weeks after Austrian insurer VIG announced coal restrictions – the dominoes are falling fast in Europe, putting the pressure on laggards like Hannover Re. However, without a commitment to end insurance for existing coal contracts or companies, Mapfre’s Sustainability Plan would fall woefully short of the action necessary to completely phase out coal in Europe by 2030 and meet the Paris Agreement 1.5°C targets.”

“Contrary to other major European insurers, Mapfre’s statement makes no mention of restrictions to existing coal infrastructures and companies, and it remains unclear if the policy will apply to its reinsurance business. Mapfre repeats its commitment to end investment in energy companies that derive more than 30% of income from coal but makes no change to its divestment criteria or commitment to sell its current holdings.”

Yago Martínez Álvarez, campaigner at Ecologistas en Accion said: “Continued coal insurance renders Mapfre’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 nothing more than corporate greenwash if it only applies to the carbon output of their direct operations. To be effective, carbon reduction targets must include the carbon output of activity supported by investment and insurance but Mapfre’s current statement would leave the furnaces lit.”

Miguel Angel Soto, campaigner at Greenpeace said: “We have a few concerns about this announcement. First of all, Mapfre needs to finally have a meeting with NGOs to discuss their Sustainability policy. It is important that Mapfre introduces a strong coal exclusion policy, which is applicable to its underwriting globally and to clients above 30% at the minimum. Mapfre’s big market share of insurance business in Latin America also likely means that they insure a lot of destructive projects there. This needs to be addressed. Greenpeace will not accept anything less than that.”

The statement was made public shortly after an official complaint from Spanish NGOs Greenpeace and Ecologistas en Accion, criticising Mapfre for failing to meet and consult with the NGOs on their Sustainability Policy.

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