Big European insurers ‘underwrite 30% of US coal despite net zero pledges’
(The Guardian, 28 Sep 2023) Lloyd’s of London, Zurich and Swiss Re among top 10 insurers of largest US coalmines, study finds.
Lloyd’s of London and other big European insurers are underwriting almost a third of US coal production despite their net zero pledges, according to research, with the Lloyd’s insurance market emerging as the second-biggest player.
A report from the Insure Our Future campaign group found that Lloyd’s, Zurich and Swiss Re are among the top 10 insurers of the 25 biggest US coalmines, which produced more than 60% of the country’s output last year. They underwrite 13 mines producing 30.7% of US coal.
Coal is the largest contributor of carbon dioxide emissions, and the US is the fourth largest producer of coal worldwide, last year mining 595m short tons – a measure commonly used in the US equal to 2,000 pounds (907.18 kg).
Even though 45 big global insurers have adopted policies limiting coal underwriting in recent years, the report found that some are exploiting loopholes or violating their own policies to continue insuring coalmines.