Huge announcement: The seventh biggest US insurer Chubb cuts coal insurance exposure due to climate change

In an important development in the financial markets, Chubb becomes the first major US insurer to cut its exposure to the coal industry. Its Chairman Even G. Greenberg gave as the reason that the company accepts "the reality of climate change". they follow leads by Allianz, Hannover and Lloyds Group who have already scaled back the coal insurance they offer. Another insurer Zurich announced last week that it is going to increase its restrictions on underwriting and investing in fossil fuels.

For Chubb this isn't unsubstantial something like 30% of their revenue comes from underwriting the building or operating of new coal-fired plants. Chairman Greenberg said in a statement that, "Making the transition to a low carbon economy involves planning and action by policymakers, investors, businesses and citizens alike."

Chubbs general counsel Joseph Wayland went further in his explanation:
“As a global insurer we are impacted by climate change, in everything from increasing fire risk to flooding,” Wayland said. “Climate change . . . can be seen in the increasing severity and frequency of natural catastrophes.”

With increasing losses from natural disasters it's not surprising that the insurers are taking a stand - last year the damage was estimated at $76 billion.

The pressure needs to be put on the other major insurers to take action.

Perhaps one of the next steps is to put a carbon cap on the stock exchanges and to have the other credit rating agencies follow Moodys in making it a requirement for a resilience strategy to be in place for local, subnational governments.

How are we looking?

With record temperatures in Europe, huge snowfall in Mexico things are not looking good.

On a week we will have the Global Sustainable Development Report - which I don't expect to give us much positive news as far as moving in the right direction. We are moving towards September key meetings: the Heads of State review of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Secretary Generals Climate Summit and the review of the delivery of the Financing for Development Addis Agreement.

The response should have been an HLPF Political Declaration that highlighted the challenges ahead and gave us suggestions of the way forward. Instead, it was negotiated in near record time and represents a very low bar as a Declaration.

The reality is it was negotiated in a real politics world that doesn't want to take on the US and other countries that have been swallowed up in this right-wing populism. Science is under challenge, facts are not believed, the establishment is under threat just at the time we need to have real leadership.

Well - it looks like it will have to be where the people lead the leaders will follow...well done Mr Greenberg and well done for also saying in your recently released Annual Report:
“Our country’s brand of nationalism, as articulated by our leadership, has impacted our policies and relationships and, in turn, our image and standing in world trade and geopolitics. America’s reputation for reliability and its credibility on the world stage have been damaged,”

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