On a High Note: American Insurer AIG Steps Up Climate Practices
The American International Group (AIG) has joined many other major insurance companies in ending underwriting services and investments for the construction of any new coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines, or oil sands, according to Reuters. The company also said it would stop providing any insurance cover or investments for Arctic energy exploration activities. AIG revealed a target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its global investment and underwriting portfolio by 2050. This includes refusing to accept new clients and phasing out existing clients that derive more than 30% of their revenue or energy from coal.
This commitment comes at a crucial moment. This week, the new IPCC report emphasized that climate impacts happening now; transformational change is needed. Front Lines reported in January and yesterday that global goals are in danger due to the soaring demand for fossil fuel, and because GHG emissions are often poorly tracked. Countering climate change requires significant buy-in across all sectors of the economy, including private companies. Many major underwriting companies in Europe have already made similar commitments, and have now turned their focus on the US and Asia, who they see as lagging behind.
"As one of the last major insurers without restrictions on coal insurance, AIG's new commitments to reduce underwriting for coal, tar sands oil, and Arctic oil and gas are a major step forward for people and the planet," said Hannah Saggau, an insurance campaigner with Public Citizen, an influential consumer advocacy group.
Stand: Global fossil fuel divestment surpasses $40 trillion, March 1, 2022.