January 8, 2018 Read More →

Insurance Looms As Major Issue For New Coal Plant Construction

Financial Times:

The world’s biggest insurers are opening up a new front in efforts to cut down on coal use by refusing to offer cover to miners and power generators that use the polluting fuel.

A range of investors, including insurance companies and pension funds have cut or eliminated holdings in companies that make money from coal. Fifteen insurers have taken action, according to pressure group Unfriend Coal, between them pulling $20bn in investments out of the industry.

Now, there is a new effort to remove the insurance cover that enables plants to be built at all.  Several large insurers have pulled back their coverage over the past few months, with more considering the move this year. The main business lines affected are insurance for the construction of new projects to property and liability cover for existing ones, although the details differ from insurer to insurer. But any of these makes life increasingly expensive for companies that mine and use coal.

Peter Bosshard, co-ordinator of Unfriend Coal, says: “The industry is uniquely placed to play a role in the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. They have long-term self interest in avoiding runaway climate change but at the same time they continue to support and underwrite the fossil fuel economy.”

According to Unfriend Coal, the insurers that have cut coverage so far are all based in Europe. Mr Bosshard says US insurers have, so far, taken no action.

More ($): Insurers Go Cold on Coal Industry

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