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In a new fossil fuel policy Helvetia offers insurance for the oil companies it divests from

St. Gallen, 30 July 2023 – Helvetia, one of the biggest Swiss insurance companies, has adopted a new fossil fuel policy which excludes cover for new coal and extreme oil projects and excludes investments in coal, oil and gas companies which are still expanding their production. Through a massive loophole, the policy however allows Helvetia to continue insuring the expansion of conventional oil and gas production.

The IPCC and the International Energy Agency have concluded that we need to immediately stop developing new coal, oil and gas projects and to phase out the current production of fossil fuels over time. By allowing cover for the expansion of conventional oil and gas production without any restrictions, Helvetia’s new policy lags far behind what climate science demands and what leading insurers such as Allianz, Generali and Swiss Re have committed to.

Nora Scheel

Campaigner at Campax, Swiss campaign group

"While it is positive that Helvetia no longer invests in oil and gas companies which are still expanding production, it does not make sense to reward the same companies by insuring their expansion projects. With this loophole, Helvetia puts its profit interests before the interests of its customers in a safe climate."

With its new policy, Helvetia would have scored only 3 out of 10 points in the 2022 scorecard of the Insure Our Future campaign.

Ariel Le Bourdonnec

Campaigner with Reclaim Finance

"It is contradictory for Helvetia to acknowledge that fossil fuel expansion needs to stop in its investment policy while it continues to insure new oil and gas extraction projects. While its divestment policy sends a good signal, Helvetia urgently needs to address this double standard by removing the blind spot of its fossil fuel policy."

The Insure Our Future campaign calls on Helvetia and all other insurance companies to immediately stop insuring new coal, oil and gas projects and to phase out support for the existing production of fossil fuels in line with a pathway to limiting global warming to 1.5C.

Helvetia is the second biggest non-life insurance company on the Swiss market. With premiums of $2 billion, it ranks 24th among Europe’s commercial property and casualty insurers. The company is currently insuring the construction of new coal power plants in Indonesia and Vietnam and advertises its services for oil platforms, pipelines, fracking plants, refineries and other fossil fuel infrastructure.

Peter Bosshard
Insure Our Future campaign, +41 77 436 71 12

Nora Scheel
Campax, +41 79 614 32 74

Ariel Le Bourdonnec
Reclaim Finance, +33 6 99 39 92 85

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