Oliver Ralph in FT describes how some of the world’s biggest insurers are trying to cut down on coal use by refusing to offer cover to miners and power generators that use the polluting fuel.
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. “Coal is the most polluting industry and the most damaging for world temperature . . . for us it is critical to stop production of new coal capacity,” says Jad Ariss, head of public affairs and corporate responsibility at France’s Axa, which last year stopped insuring new coal construction projects as well as tar sands companies and the associated pipelines.