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Zurich becomes second company to pull out of UN climate pact


Zurich Insurance Ltd. said Wednesday it has withdrawn from the United Nation’s Net-Zero Insurance Alliance.

The announcement came less than a week after Munich Re Ltd. said it had left the group over antitrust concerns.

In a brief statement announcing its withdrawal, the Swiss insurer said: “After establishing a standardized methodology for measuring and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions associated to insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios, we want to focus our resources to support our customers with their transition. We continue to remain fully committed to our sustainability ambitions and to supporting the net-zero transition.”

Zurich gave no further reason for its withdrawal.

Members of NZIA, which includes about 30 large European and Asian insurers and reinsurers, pledge to transition greenhouse gas emissions from their underwriting portfolios to “net-zero emissions by 2050 consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5 (degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels by 2100 in order to contribute to the implementation of the COP21 Paris Agreement.”

Climate activists, which over the past several years have increased pressure on insurers, have urged regulators to make clear that antitrust laws should not be a barrier to achieving emissions targets.