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25 January 2018

UK insurance giant Lloyd’s abandons coal industry

Lloyd’s of London has announced it will stop financing coal power projects and has joined the movement of the financial and insurance companies divesting from fossil fuels in support of climate action.

The world’s oldest insurance company will expel coal-related projects from its investment strategy starting this April.

The coal exclusion is part of its responsible investment strategy, but the precise definition of what constitutes a coal company and the criteria of the divestment- such as the threshold of revenue from coal, will be decided within the next months.

Inga Beale, Lloyd’s of London CEO, said: “That means that in the areas of our portfolio where we can directly influence investment decisions we will avoid investing in companies that are involved mainly in coal”.

“Is there more the insurance sector could be doing to help the world transition to a low-carbon economy by choosing sustainable or low-carbon stocks?”, she wondered.

The divestment will apply to assets held in the company’s segregated portfolios. This means that Lloyd’s can only apply the criteria to 75 percent of the central fund’s investments.

France’s AXA insurance giant was among the first European companies to act against climate change. In 2015, AXA announced a divestment of €500 million from the coal industry- a figure which by the end of 2017 had reached €2.4 billion.

According to a report from Unfriend Coal Network, an international coalition of businesses and environmental organisations, 15 insurance companies have fully or partially cut investment in the coal industry of which almost all of them are located in Europe.

You can read the top 5 pledges to divest from fossil fuels that have been announced so far here

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