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Britain’s Aviva tightens restrictions on coal, shale gas insurance

March 02, 2021


British insurer Aviva plans to become a net zero carbon emissions company by 2040, it said on Monday, claiming this was the most demanding target set by any major insurer worldwide.

The insurer plans to reach net zero carbon emissions from its investments by 2040 and net zero from its own operations and supply chain by 2030.

Aviva’s plans include expanding green investments and switching to renewable electricity in its offices and to electric or hybrid vehicles in its motor fleet.

Aviva will by the end of this year stop underwriting insurance for companies making more than 5% of their revenue from coal or “unconventional” fossil fuels such as shale gas, unless they have signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative, an NGO-led group that signs off on corporate climate plans. Aviva also plans to divest from such companies by the end of 2022, unless they sign up to the initiative.

Aviva is one of more than 30 members of the United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which also includes European insurers Allianz, AXA, Generali and Zurich. The group’s members last year committed to setting tougher carbon limits on their portfolios.

[Carolyn Cohn and Simon Jessop]

More: British insurer Aviva sets out net zero 2040 climate strategy

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