UN Secretary General calls for phase out of fossil fuel insurance

June 8, 2021

In his closing speech at the Insurance Development Forum Summit, Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, called for the phase out of fossil fuel insurance.

Peter Bosshard, Global Coordinator of the Insure Our Future network, said, “The call to action from the UN Secretary General and the recent 1.5C report by the International Energy Agency leave insurance companies no hiding place. They have to accept the scientific evidence and immediately stop insuring coal, new oil and new gas projects or abdicate their pretensions of climate leadership. Laggards like AIG, Lloyd’s of London and Tokio Marine should immediately end all insurance support for coal, and supposed insurance industry leaders like Allianz, AXA and Zurich should end their insurance for new oil and gas projects before COP26 in Glasgow.”

Guterres’ full speech can be found here. A key excerpt is included below:

“I encourage the insurance industry to align its portfolios and investments with net zero by 2050. Your investments should not be contributing to climate pollution but should be directed towards climate solutions. Invest in renewables, low- and zero-carbon transport and climate resilient infrastructure. Almost twenty insurance companies, as asset owners, have joined the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance that was convened in 2019. The Alliance is the gold standard in terms of setting credible and transparent targets and timelines to back the net zero pledges that members have made. I encourage more to join these collective efforts and ensure asset owners send a strong signal across the investment chain. We need net zero commitments to cover your underwriting portfolios, and this should include the underwriting of coal — and all fossil fuels. COP 26 must signal the end of coal,” said Guterres.


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