What’s happening with the Net Zero Insurance Alliance
Today, French reinsurer SCOR, the world’s 7th biggest non-life reinsurance company left the Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) while significantly strengthening its oil and gas restrictions at the same time. At its AGM, the reinsurer today announced that it would no longer underwrite the development of new gas fields. This new policy comes about a few weeks after the reinsurer’s new CEO Thierry Léger took on his position, which was welcomed by Reclaim Finance with chocolates and a letter to Léger on his first day of the job.
SCOR’s policy follows in the wake of German insurance conglomerate Talanx, which adopted a new oil and gas policy after its subsidiary Hannover Re departed the NZIA as well.
Insurers’ fossil fuel exit continues, irrespective of NZIA
Later in the day, Allianz and AXA, which chairs the NZIA, announced that they were leaving the NZIA as well. After the exit of Munich Re, Zurich, Hannover Re and Swiss Re, today’s departures likely mark the collapse of the NZIA. Yet unlike the NZAOA, the NZIA never adopted fossil fuel related guidelines, and the obligations for its members were always minimal. All the members which left the NZIA have adopted restrictions on coal, oil and gas insurance. By strengthening their policies as they left the NZIA, SCOR and Talanx demonstrate that insurers’ shift away from fossil fuels continues irrespective of the fate of the Alliance.
The Insure Our Future campaign will hold the departing NZIA members to account for their net zero commitments and will pressure them to confirm their commitments by strengthening their policies in the wake of SCOR and Talanx. At the same time we will aggressively communicate that the collapse of the NZIA doesn’t signal success for the political servants of the fossil fuel industry in the U.S., but that insurers’ shift away from fossil fuels continues. The shift needs to accelerate though, and the refusal of insurers to take individual or collective action rapidly enough makes a strong case for strengthened regulation. As a next step the Insure Our Future campaign will push for the creation of a net zero working group at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.