January 23, 2018 Read More →

Lloyd’s of London Steps Back From Coal

The Guardian:

Lloyd’s of London, the world’s oldest insurance market, has become the latest financial firm to announce that it plans to stop investing in coal companies.

Lloyd’s will start to exclude coal from its investment strategy from 1 April. The definition of what is a coal company and the criteria for divestment will be set over the coming months.

The firm has long been vocal about the need to battle climate change, with insurance one of the worst affected industries by hurricanes, wildfires and flooding in recent years.

The insurance market decided last month to implement a coal exclusion policy as part of a responsible investment strategy for the central mutual fund that sits behind every insurance policy written by the Lloyd’s market.

Inga Beale, Lloyd’s of London chief executive, said: “That means that in the areas of our portfolio where we can directly influence investment decisions we will avoid investing in companies that are involved mainly in coal.

“Is there more the insurance sector could be doing to help the world transition to a low-carbon economy by choosing sustainable or low-carbon stocks?”

Lloyd’s does not underwrite operations directly, but offers a marketplace to almost 90 syndicates of other insurers.

Lloyd’s has been slower to take action than others. Other big UK and European insurance companies, including Aviva, Allianz, Axa, Legal & General, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich, have been shifting away from coal and other fossil fuels due to concerns about climate risks. About £15bn has been divested by insurers in the past two years, according to a recent report from Unfriend Coal Network, a global coalition of NGOs and campaigners including 350.org and Greenpeace. It said 15 companies – almost all in Europe – have fully or partially cut financial ties by selling holdings in coal companies and refusing to insure their operations.

More: Lloyd’s of London to divest from coal over climate change

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