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Hannover Re SE is adopting a more restrictive underwriting policy on the reinsurance of coal-based risks in addition to excluding coal-based projects from its investment portfolio.
Hannover Re does not invest in securities of issuers that generate 25% or more of their revenues from coal-based energy production and will continue to seek to underwrite more risks associated with renewable or alternative energy sources, the Hanover, Germany-based reinsurer said Thursday in a statement.
“Where standalone risks are concerned, the company will now — as a general principle — not be providing reinsurance coverage for any planned new coal-fired power plants or coal mines,” Hannover Re said. “In countries where coal accounts for a particularly large share of the energy mix and sufficient access to alternative energy sources is not available, a limited number of exceptions will be permitted after review of the technical standards.”
Hannover Re has set a goal of not covering any coal-based risks in connection with power generation in its entire property/casualty reinsurance portfolio beginning in 2038 — a date that accounts for the medium- to long-term phasing out of fossil fuels, the company said.
“For many years the Group has supported the goals set out in the Paris Agreement on climate change,” Hannover Re said in the statement. “The governments of 195 nations reached agreement on a global action plan for a low-carbon economy with a view to combating climate change. In Europe alone, 17 of 28 EU member states have decided to phase out fossil fuels or are discussing such a move.”
The number of insurers operating in California pledging to divest some or all of their thermal coal investments has nearly doubled in two years, according to the latest data from state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.