Paris, 25 May 2023 – At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today, the first for the new CEO Thierry Léger, SCOR announced that it will no longer cover new gas field development projects (1). Reclaim Finance welcomes these new climate commitments and calls on Thierry Léger to also exclude new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in order to align with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 1.5°C scenario projections and meet its climate commitments.
Like its direct competitors, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re and Allianz, SCOR has announced that it will stop covering new gas fields. However, the group has said that an exception will be possible for clients with “a strategy aligned with a credible Net Zero transition plan” (1).
Better late than never. SCOR is finally catching up with its competitors and adding to its exclusion of new oil fields the new gas fields. But it’s disappointing that it hasn’t finished the job and still allows exceptions for companies in transition. The science is clear: a company that continues to develop new oil and gas fields cannot be considered “in transition”. But SCOR is setting an example for AXA, which has still to make a commitment on gas.
In May, an open letter signed by 15 NGOs, including Reclaim Finance, was sent to Thierry Léger calling on him to stop covering new gas fields and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. These new climate commitments therefore respond to some of the demands made by the Insure our Future campaign, which calls on the major insurers and reinsurers to act in the face of climate change.
However, one demand remains unanswered: the call to stop covering new LNG terminals. SCOR was recently identified by Reclaim Finance and the NGO Better Brazoria as one of the insurers behind the Freeport LNG climate bomb, the second largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the US, located in the Gulf of Mexico.
When asked by Reclaim Finance about the need to stop covering new LNG terminals, SCOR’s management showed no intention of taking any action.
SCOR still has no policy on new transport infrastructure which contributes to the development of new fields and locks in greenhouse gas emissions for years to come. SCOR can still provide the cover that allows projects like Freeport LNG to expand. Even if SCOR has withdrawn from the NZIA, we expect it to maintain the momentum it has built up to date and to announce as soon as possible that it will stop supporting new LNG terminals.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has projected that to limit global warming to 1.5°C requires a halt to the development of new oil and gas fields. It has also said that the war in Ukraine does not change this (3). These conclusions are well known to SCOR, which has one of the most ambitious investment policies in the oil and gas sector (4) among French investors (5) but an insurance policy that lags far behind its peers.
- According to the new gas policy announced by SCOR, it will exclude insurance and facultative reinsurance specifically dedicated to new gas field development projects. However, exceptions may be made for insurance and facultative reinsurance for insureds with a verified strategy aligned with a credible Net Zero transition plan based on the Science-Based Targets (SBTi) initiative for the oil and gas exploration and production sector. SCOR, Annual results 2022, 2023
- Greenpeace Nordic, Insurance giants complicit in Norway’s oil and gas expansion, 2023.
- IEA, World Energy Outlook 2022, 2022.
- SCOR, Sustainable Investment Policy, 2023.
- For more information on the oil and gas policies of French investors, see the Oil and Gas Policy Tracker.