The chief executives of 30 major insurance and reinsurance companies have been urged to stop supporting the fossil fuel industry.
A letter to the CEOs from campaigning group Insure our Future said that while most insurers have stopped insuring new coal projects, they are continuing to underwrite the expansion of fossil fuel production through “numerous loopholes in policies and standards”.
The group claimed that while several oil and gas policies restrict cover for exploration, they do not cover the development of expanded production. It also warned that other policies restrict cover for upstream projects but not the midstream and downstream infrastructure that, if built, will lock in expanded oil and gas production for decades.
“Insurers, as society’s risk managers, have a special responsibility to act and the power to drive change: without insurance most new fossil fuel projects cannot go ahead and existing ones cannot continue to operate,” the letter said. “However, overall the industry has failed to align its business with the scientific consensus on what is required to limit global warming to 1.5°C.”