On Monday, July 2, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, Swiss Re, issued a coal policy that limits its coal-related business. This was long awaited by civil society organizations involved in Unfriend Coal campaign, Foundation „RT-ON” („DY-OPMN”) being one of them. Swiss Re’s policy follows several coal announcements released in the previous months by its peers AXA, Zurich, Allianz and other (re)insurers.
According to its new policy, Swiss Re will not insure thermal coal plants, mines and companies that have more than 30% exposure to coal. This applies to both stand-alone infrastructure and company level re/insurance.
„Swiss Re’s announcement sends a strong signal from one of the world’s ultimate managers of risk to governments, investors and financiers that no new coal projects should be developed. It will add to pressure on Munich Re and other insurers to end support for a fuel which is inconsistent with the fight against climate change."
Peter Bosshard, coordinator of Unfriend Coal campaign
„Swiss Re’s policy is in line with the recent trend of moving away from underwriting and investing in coal. It limits reinsurance options for insurers that underwrite coal mines and power plants but have too low capacity to keep the risk on their own, Polish industry being an example. Swiss Re and other insurers’ moving is a strong signal and is expected to increase premium rates."
Jan Chudzyński, finance and insurance Campaigner, Foundation „RT-ON” („DY-OPMN”)
Apart from the recent policy on (re)insurance, Swiss Re has coal investment rules already put in motion. Its 2016 policy puts a coal-related threshold on its investements. Swiss Re stopped investing in companies that generate 30% or more of their revenues from thermal coal mining or that use at least 30% thermal coal for power generation.
Swiss Re's announcment: Swiss Re establishes thermal coal policy to support transition to a low-carbon economy
Unfriend Coal's comment: Spotlight on Munich Re after Swiss Re stops reinsuring coal projects
Foundation „DY-OPMN” is a member of Unfriend Coal campaign calling for insurance companies to divest from and cease underwriting coal and support the transition to clean energy. It is supported by: 350.org; CIEL; ClientEarth; Friends of the Earth, France; Greenpeace Switzerland; Market Forces; Rainforest Action Network; Re:Common; The Sierra Club; The Sunrise Project; the UK Tar Sands Network, Urgewald; Waterkeeper Alliance. unfriendcoal.com