The French reinsurer will cease providing cover for new oil field production projects from 2023

During its combined general meeting, SCOR CEO Laurent Rousseau announced the reinsurer would strengthen its sustainability strategy by ceasing to offer cover for new oil field production projects from 2023, unless the client has a plan to achieve net-zero targets by 2050.

The company, which is the fourth largest reinsurance company in the world, also has an ambition to double its coverage for low carbon energy projects by 2025.

“SCOR has a longstanding commitment to fighting climate change, undertaking numerous actions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate the just transition to a low carbon economy.

”Supporting clients as they shift their business models in this direction forms part of the Group’s contribution to the welfare, resilience and sustainable development of society.

”SCOR believes that reaching net zero can only be achieved by combining climate mitigation and climate adaptation measures, supported by strong engagement with clients and partners, and an active approach to transition.”

Too little, too late, say activists

Climate campaigners say SCOR has not gone far enough. They say SCOR has failed to catch up to its competitors, such as Allianz, Swiss Re and Hannover Re, who have already excluded new oil & gas production projects in line with the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and International Energy Agency (IEA) conclusions.

Ariel Le Bourdonnec, insurance campaigner at Reclaim Finance, commented: “SCOR missed a great opportunity today. Scientists and experts from the International Energy Agency have been clear about the harmfulness of gas and the need to end fossil fuel expansion.

”By allowing gas as well as exceptions for some new oil fields, SCOR’s policy does not even go half the distance.”

In early 2022, Hannover Re and Swiss Re set a new momentum among reinsurers by announcing that they will no longer re/insure new upstream oil & gas projects.

More recently, Allianz adopted even stronger restrictions, setting the new sector standard.

All resolutions passed

SCOR is a founding member of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance and argues that it continues to adapt its underwriting practices to actively participate in the transition to net zero.

All resolutions proposed during the General Meeting, chaired by SCOR SE chairman Denis Kessler, were approved. 

This included the resolution raising the age limit for the chairman of the Board of Directors to 72 years. This allows Kessler to continue in his role of chair until the end of his term of office, which expires at the end of the 2024 General Meeting.