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Generali to divest €2 billion from coal but fails to act on underwriting

Generali coal policy does not go nearly far enough

Generali has announced plans to divest €2 billion from coal but is not following AXA, Zurich and SCOR in restricting underwriting.

Lucie Pinson

Coordinator of Insure Our Future

"Generali’s failure to act on underwriting is unacceptable. What it calls minimal underwriting support for coal leads to thousands of premature deaths each year and increases the risk of runaway climate change. It makes no sense to divest from coal but keep insuring coal projects and we will maintain pressure on the company.

“However, Generali has set what could become one of the industry’s tightest divestment policies if it allows no exceptions. We welcome its decision not to invest in companies building new coal projects, but it must now prove it means business by setting meaningful criteria that do not allow any coal developers to slip through the net. Climate science makes clear that no new coal plants should be built.”

Generali is one of the insurance companies doing most to support the growth of Poland’s coal industry, supporting companies which are undermining international efforts to combat climate change and causing thousands of early deaths a year across Europe. It has insured eight Polish coal projects since 2013 including the biggest coal power plant under construction in Europe, a recent briefing by NGOs supporting the Insure Our Future campaign revealed.

Generali joins 15 insurers who have already divested an estimated €16 billion from coal. It becomes the second insurer after AXA to acknowledge that its divestment policy has to go beyond a company’s relative exposure to coal and also take into consideration its absolute activity in coal, and a commitment not to invest in new coal plants.

Generali still needs to set out how it will define companies involved in building new coal plants and must do better than AXA. The Global Coal Exit List reveals that AXA’s threshold of companies building more than 3GW only excludes 56 of the 282 biggest global coal plant developers.

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