One day before Zurich’s Annual General Assembly, the campaign organization Campax denounces the climate policy of Zurich Insurance with a giant floating banner. The banner, which reads “stop insuring oil and gas projects,” was pulled across Lake Zurich to Zurich Group’s headquarters in Zurich Enge.
This morning at 7:00 a.m., a sailboat full of climate activists leaves the harbor in Zurich Riesbach. With them: a 10x13m banner. It is still wound up, but as soon as the boat leaves the harbor, the climate activists open a ripcord and the banner unfolds. In the water, the banner is clearly legible: “Zurich, stop insuring oil and gas projects!” Slowly, the sailboat glides towards Enge harbor, where the activists’ destination is located: The headquarters of Zurich Insurance.
"Zurich Insurance is a member of the Net-zero Insurance Alliance and has committed to limiting CO2 emissions in line with the 1.5°C target. Yet it is among the largest insurers of oil and gas. Climate scientists agree that the 1.5°C target does not allow for further expansion of fossil fuel production. Zurich Insurance must walk its talk and commit to no longer insuring oil and gas expansion projects, as well as ruling out existing fossil fuel insurance in line with a 1.5C phase out."
As a member of the Net-zero Insurance Alliance, Zurich has committed itself to limiting CO2 emissions in line with the 1.5°C target. However, its current oil and gas policy is far from sufficient, and it remains one of the world’s largest insurers of oil and gas. In November, Zurich took a small step away from oil and gas with the adoption of a greenfield exclusion policy, but only from companies that do not have “meaningful transition plans”. However, this policy still allows them to insure most oil and gas expansion projects without restriction. Zurich must immediately stop insuring all new oil and gas projects if it is serious about its climate promises
Just yesterday, the IPCC released the third component of its Sixth Assessment report which communicated yet again that the 1.5°C target does not allow any further expansion of fossil energy production, and existing production must also be phased out. Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London and co-chair of the working group behind the report, said: “It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5C. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”