Go to latest

Campaigners demand ‘polluters pay’ as insurance industry meet for inaugural sustainability summit

Today, as the insurance industry convenes for the first Global Sustainable Insurance Summit in Los Angeles, the 32 campaign groups of the Insure Our Future network have sent a letter to the world’s leading fossil fuel insurers, detailing how they can accelerate the transition to a clean and just energy economy.

Demands in the letter include:

  • Immediately stop insuring new and expanded coal, oil and gas projects.
  • Divest all assets from fossil fuel companies which have not published a transition plan aligned with a credible 1.5°C pathway and scale up investments in a just, equitable and rapid transition to a clean energy economy.
  • Immediately define and adopt binding targets for reducing insured emissions which are transparent and aligned with a credible 1.5°C pathway.
  • Establish robust due diligence mechanisms to ensure clients respect and observe all human rights.
  • Explore ways to bring fossil fuel companies to court in order to make polluters, rather than individuals and families, pay for the growing costs of climate disasters.

The call for insurers to make ‘polluters pay’ comes at a point when many families are struggling as they face a cost of living crisis, compounded by rising insurance premiums or loss of insurance cover completely in some high-risk areas as insurers attempt to limit their climate-related losses by passing them on to communities. For example, twelve major insurers have restricted climate-related coverage in California, causing losses in home values of $10-$32 billion. The same twelve insurers are exacerbating climate risks, with $113 billion of investments in and $3.6 billion in annual underwriting income from fossil fuels collectively.

The Insure Our Future letter was sent to the top 30 global insurers, who will be assessed and ranked in the Insure Our Future annual scorecard, as well as over 40 additional major insurance companies. The network will also bring these demands to the upcoming AGMs of major fossil fuel insurers, such as Fairfax Financial (11th April), AXA (23rd April), and Chubb (16th May).

The Insure Our Future campaign has been boosted by its recent Global Week of Action, which took place in early March, in which thousands of people took part across 31 countries, united in the demand for insurers to take urgent action to protect the future.

Peter Bosshard

Global Coordinator of the Insure Our Future campaign

“While the insurance industry abandons climate-affected communities, many insurers continue to underwrite the expansion of fossil fuel extraction, fuelling the very crisis they have warned about for 50 years. No major insurance company has ruled out support for all new fossil fuel projects.”

Aditi Sen

Climate and Energy Program Director of the Rainforest Action Network

“The insurance industry is responding to the escalating climate emergency by increasing premiums or entirely withdrawing from regions at the frontline of the crisis. This further shifts the cost of climate change from the carbon polluters and their supporters to individual families and businesses.”

Ariel Le Bourdonnec

Insurance Campaigner at Reclaim Finance

“The climate crisis threatens to destroy the foundations of a healthy planet for future generations. The insurance industry is in a powerful position to avert such an emergency by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to a sustainable energy economy.”

Insure Our Future's Annual Letter to Insurers 2024

Share this article