45 NGOs’ including Reclaim Finances wrote to several insurance associations, urging them to support an ecological and fair economic recovery plan. Moreover, the letter highlights the crucial role of insurers as the risk managers of our societies as well as the solid leverage effect they can have on the ecological transition as both insurers and investors. Therefore, the signatories urge professional associations to encourage their members not to insure new fossil fuel projects and to opt-out of companies that don’t make the necessary efforts, to transform and align with a 1,5°C trajectory.
Last week, the General Secretary of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres declared “We need to take decisive action to protect our planet from coronavirus and from the existential threat of global warming”. He called upon governments to use the massive sums committed to the economic recovery and “create new jobs and new companies, linked to an ecological and clean transition” and “incorporate risks and climate-related opportunities, in the financial system”.
The president of Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, who is also the Investment Director of Allianz, Gunther Thallinger, supports these remarks. He declared, on behalf of Alliance which also includes AXA, Aviva and Generali, that “the future recovery plans can and should lay the foundation of a permanent crossway for a resilient economy, net zero and inclusive. The Alliance is ready to work with governments, international agencies and other parties, who are willing to achieve this goal”, he stated.
The insurers had identified the risk of a pandemic but failed to prepare our societies. They also identified the climate-related risk. Instead of repeating the same mistakes, they need to take action immediately, to avoid an acceleration of climate change and confront the coronavirus and global warming simultaneously.