Feeding the fossil monster or clean energy?
In this report by Insure Our Future member Re-set – a Czech organization that uses research, education and public engagement to support efforts for a more sustainable and just society – the policies of six major insurers in the Czech Republic [ČSOB pojišťovna, Generali Česká pojišťovna, Allianz, Kooperativa, Česká průmyslová pojišťovna (ČPP), Uniqa] are assessed regarding their approach to gas, oil and coal.
The climate crisis, COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war against Ukraine have derailed society and opened new questions about the future. For years, scientific research has warned society to phase out fossil fuels rapidly. The pandemic has shown that a long-term emergency can come about overnight. War in Ukraine reminds us that dependence on fossil fuels poses threats for our security and peace as Putin is able to finance his war machinery from billions-worth sales of gas, oil and coal.
Affected by the global turmoil, the energy industry has been undergoing turbulent changes. Increasing prices of gas and coal result in higher energy bills. With record-breaking prices of heat and power, prices of food, housing and fuels have been rising, too. More and more people are facing energy poverty: in the EU, energy poverty may apply to 125 million people. This is mostly caused by the dependence on fossil fuels, mainly expensive fossil gas.
There are two major options at this crossroads – the decision will depend on many factors including the pressure of the civil society. Financial institutions, namely banks and insurance companies, will play an important role. Their internal policies will largely influence whether society continues feeding the fossil monster which devastates the planet and fuels wars, or whether we give preference to a sustainable future.