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Top insurers pull billions from coal – lawyers say there are “serious questions” for those still invested in it

A new report reveals which insurers are pulling back from coal and which are still heavily invested.

Unfriend Coal’s Insuring Coal No More: An Insurance Scorecard on Coal and Climate Change tracks the attitudes and actions of 25 major insurers in the global market.

This week, insurance giant Zurich announced that it would both divest from and stop insuring coal-dependent businesses. Several other majors are due to announce new policies. But many are lagging behind. No US company has taken such steps, and many European companies are also notable for their inaction.

ClientEarth corporate lawyer Alice Garton said: “Investing in coal is short-sighted and laden with risk – it’s the dirtiest source of energy and its days are numbered. Certain insurers seem to have cottoned on to this but too many seem to be blind to the issues.

“It’s time for those still funnelling money into coal to ask themselves some serious questions. Is coal politically and environmentally tenable? Are investments in coal in line with the insurance industry’s aim of managing risk?

“Given coal’s immense climate and health impact, the answers to both must be ‘no’. We need the insurance industry to step up and play its part in preventing dangerous climate change.”


Alice is an Australian-qualified lawyer.

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