Protests took place today outside Lloyd’s of London in the City and in 12 other locations around the UK over insurance-related environmental concerns.

People gathered to demand Lloyd’s stops insuring all coal mines immediately. The protest was designed to coincide with the reopening of Lloyd’s underwriting room.

According to pressure group Coal Action Network, Lloyd’s and its syndicates insure around 40 per cent of the global energy market, with a large portion of that being fossil fuels.  

One of the key projects protestors have mobilised around is the West Cumbria coal mine.

According to Coal Action Network, Lloyd’s has refused to rule out insuring the project, which, if it goes ahead, will be the first deep coal mine planned in the UK for more than 30 years.

The pressure group said the mine would “help lock the steel industry into burning coal and make a mockery of the UK’s climate targets.”  

Coal Action Network’s Andrew Taylor said: “Today we saw everyday people in every corner of the UK welcome Lloyd’s and its insurers back to the office with demands to stop putting profit over a liveable planet. We need them to rule out insuring deadly coal projects today, not next year or 2030.”

He added that last month Lloyd’s cancelled a meeting to discuss its insurance of fossil fuels.

A spokesperson for Lloyd’s said: “Lloyd’s is committed to accelerating its transition towards a more sustainable insurance and reinsurance marketplace, and has set out specific actions and commitments to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“We are actively involved in constructive engagement on the issue of climate change and continue to explore the ways in which Lloyd’s can support a responsible transition.”

The spokesperson added that, to enable the market to support their customers as they transition away from fossil fuels, Lloyd’s standards are “targeted and phased”.

“We have asked managing agents to no longer provide new insurance cover for thermal coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines, oil sands or new Arctic energy exploration activities from 1 January 2022,” they continued.

“The target date for phasing out the renewal of existing insurance cover for these types of businesses is 1 January 2030.”