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Zurich stops insuring thermal coal

Posted On: Mar. 12, 2021 10:06 AM CST


Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. said Friday that as of 2020 it has stopped insuring and will no longer invest in more than one-third of companies exposed to thermal coal, oil sands and oil shale that were unable or unwilling to adopt greener practices.

Of 268 policyholders and investees in this category and “after careful review” Zurich said it had decided to end its business relationship with 36 percent of them, while dialogs continue with a further 42 percent.

Another 22 percent were adopting greener practices, according to Zurich’s 2020 sustainability report released Friday.

Zurich in 2019 said it intended to stop insuring companies that generate more than 30 percent of their revenue from mining, more than 30 percent of their electricity from thermal coal, oil sands and oil shale, extract more than 20 million tons of thermal coal or continue to invest in coal mining and infrastructure.

“We are continuing to audit our portfolio and engage with our customers that are exposed to thermal coal, oil sands and oil shales,” Mario Greco, group chief executive officer, said in the report.

A growing number of insurers have announced plans to scale back their exposure to coal, oil sands and shale in recent months.