As of 1 April 2023 reinsurer will no longer invest in or insure projects exclusively covering new oil and gas fields
Reinsurance giant Munich Re has committed that as of 1 April 2023 it will no longer invest in or insure contracts/projects exclusively covering the planning, financing, construction or operation of new oil and gas fields, new midstream oil infrastructure and new oil fired power plants.
The Insure Our Future campaign says it is a significant step and clear signal to the global insurance market, following in the footsteps of similar announcements by Allianz and Swiss Re.
Regine Richter, insurance campaigner at urgewald, commented: “We welcome that Munich Re is catching up with the leading insurers on climate by ruling out support for new oil and gas fields, new oil infrastructure and new oil plants.
”We would have wanted to see bolder steps on gas, but at least with this policy the world’s largest reinsurer has now shown that it’s starting to take its own climate warnings seriously.”
Lindsay Keenan, European coordinator of Insure Our Future, added: “European insurers are starting to recognise they need to stop supporting all fossil fuel expansion, including oil and gas.
”Munich Re’s policy sends a message to the wider insurance industry and to the oil and gas sector that they must act urgently to align their business with climate science and the 1.5C climate target or risk not being able to find reinsurance cover.”
It follows a commitment made last week by Munich Re’s Lloyd’s syndicate to stop underwriting all traditional oil and gas business by 1 January 2023.
Maya Mailer from Mothers Rise Up send the move ”sends a critical message to the Lloyd’s marketplace that the insurance industry cannot enable new fossil fuels. We sincerely hope that Lloyd’s Council Chair Bruce Carnegie-Brown will formally recommend that all Lloyd’s syndicates also stop underwriting new conventional oil and gas.”
Ariel Le Bourdonnec, insurance campaigner at Reclaim Finance, noted that SCOR remains “one of the last major European reinsurers without a robust policy against oil and gas expansion. SCOR must follow Munich re and rapidly improve its oil and gas policy by committing to stop covering new upstream oil and gas projects.”