Allianz applies much weaker restrictions on the gas sector. This double standard is unjustified given the scientific consensus on the need to reduce methane emissions and to stop the development of new gas projects.
Some potential exceptions for new gas fields? Allianz states in its policy that “in special cases the Group Sustainability Board can decide on exceptions on new upstream gas fields in case a government decides on the development of a new gas field for energy security emergency reasons”, with an annual review of the rule.
Allianz could in fact end up insuring new shale gas projects, given the potential exception for new gas projects in case of “energy emergency reasons”. This exception resonates with the current political and energy context following Putin’s war in Ukraine, during which EU governments are looking for alternative sources of gas. However, many analyses have demonstrated that the best solutions to the current crisis lie in energy consumption reduction and the deployment of energy efficiency measures and renewable energies, not in the building of new gas infrastructures. To make sure this exception does not turn into a major loophole, Allianz must commit to publicly publish the number of projects covered thanks to this exception.
No exclusions on midstream/downstream gas projects. Although Allianz rules out insurance coverage for midstream and downstream oil projects, the insurer does not apply this same rule to gas. It is a major oversight for Allianz which takes the risk to raise its exposure to stranded assets. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is clear : “Limiting warming to 2°C or 1.5°C will strand fossil-related assets, including fossil infrastructure and unburned fossil fuel resources” (7).
Allianz scores in the Oil & Gas Policy Tracker
This table presents the oil & gaz scores of Allianz based on five criteria of the Oil & Gas Policy Tracker.
We warmly welcome the new Allianz’s oil & gas policy: it sets a very high standard so far for the insurance industry to stop the underwriting of new oil & gas projects. We also call on AXA and Zurich as well as other European insurers – SCOR, Munich Re – lagging further behind, to follow suit. However, Allianz is not yet aligned with what science calls for. Allianz needs to adopt a stronger stance against oil and gas expansion and expansionists by:
1. Committing to end insurance services to new gas projects and strengthening its demands to oil and gas companies.
2. Requiring its clients and investee companies to adopt 1.5°C-compliant decarbonization targets across all scopes by 2025.
3. Ending new investments in companies that do not give up on their oil and gas expansion plans.
4. Adopting an escalation strategy, including a commitment to vote against their management or bogus climate plan, as soon as 2023, and be ready to divest at the latest in 2025.
Here is below the updated scoring grid of our Oil and Gas Policy Tracker regarding Allianz and the other main (re)insurers.