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Insurers’ Net Zero Commitment Open to Question

The insurance sector’s commitment to net zero is facing renewed questions, with large institutions failing to support headline policies or abandoning collaborative initiatives. According to a report by Reclaim Finance, Lloyd’s of London has not put in place a policy to end underwriting support for fossil fuel expansion, despite having made a net zero pledge. The report also found that many of largest managing agents on the Lloyd’s market had failed to align with its policies restricting underwriting support for coal or tar sands projects. Yesterday, Swiss insurance group Zurich became the second founding member of the Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) to leave the alliance in a week, following the departure of Munch Re. Zurich told Reuters the decision would not impact its commitment to sustainability and had nothing to do with the anti-trust-related concerns raised by the German firm. Both groups remain part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero via their membership of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance. Peter Bosshard, coordinator of the Insure Our Future campaign, said: “The NZIA has allowed itself to be immobilised by anti-trust concerns from the start. With Munich Re and now Zurich leaving the alliance, insurers have an even bigger direct responsibility to align their businesses with a credible 1.5C pathway.” Last week, Insure our Future coordinated a letter to the CEOs of the 30 largest insurers, asking them to “immediately” stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects, in response to the latest Synthesis Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The NZIA announced its first target-setting protocol for carbon emissions reductions in January.

 

 

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