Meanwhile, Insure our Future puts the spotlight on the controversial East African Crude Oil Pipeline project

Twenty protesters from Extinction Rebellion and Debt for Climate have occupied the Kongresshaus in Baden-Baden, where the Baden-Baden Reinsurance Meeting is currently taking place.

“Given the fundamental and critical role of the reinsurance industry in fossil fuel extraction, the meeting deserves critical attention,” said the climate activist group. ”Many fossil fuel companies are pushing into new and expanded coal, oil and gas projects, all of which need to be reinsured.”

Meanwhile, the Insure Our Future campaign is calling on assembled reinsurers in the German spa town to stop fueling climate catastrophe by underwriting coal, oil and gas production and instead support a rapid transition to renewable energy.

Lindsay Keenan, European co-ordinator of Insure Our Future, said: “Reinsurers play a foundational role in enabling the coal, oil and gas production that fuels climate disasters.

“Without insurance, new fossil fuel projects would be impossible. Reinsurers must immediately rule out both facultative and treaty reinsurance for new coal, oil and gas and commit to phase down existing cover in line with climate science and pathways targeting 1.5C.”

Spotlight on oil pipeline project

The campaign highlighted new analysis showing that Hannover Re, Swiss Re, Allianz and most recently Munich Re have shown leadership by adopting policies ruling out support for new oil and gas projects, and called on the remaining laggards to follow their lead.

It singled out Berkshire Hathaway and Lloyd’s of London as two of the last major insurers still underwriting the expansion of the coal industry. The two insurers ranked joint last and second last, respectively, in Insure our Future’s recent assessment of insurers’ fossil fuel policies. 

Regine Richter of the German Insure Our Future member Urgewald said: We have seen action to exclude fossil fuels by quite a few reinsurers now. Yet many of those assembled in Baden-Baden have not taken such steps. Rather than discussing how to pass the rising costs of climate disasters on to their customers, they need to limit the damage by excluding fossil fuel clients.”

The campaign also put the spotlight on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and its insurance broker, Marsh. 

EACOP is expected to generate an additional 34 million tonnes of CO2 per year at peak production, take farming land from 100,000 people and risk oil spills and leaks into Lake Victoria, on which more than 40m people depend for water and food production.

Twenty four banks, eighteen (re)insurers, and four export credit agencies have already denied support for EACOP, while over a hundred of Marsh McLennan’s own employees have written to the company’s leadership urging them to steer clear of EACOP.