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Paris passes motion calling on insurance companies to end coal support

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World Coal,

The Paris city council is calling on the world’s biggest insurance companies to end support for the coal industry.

The latest action follows the city’s decision in 2015 to divest from fossil fuels and sectors contributing to climate change. This February, it announced that it was considering the feasibility of suing fossil fuel companies for climate damages. Mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “In the last 18 months, Paris has lived through two major floods, one in June 2016 when the Seine rose more than 6 m […] and also four heat waves. So yes, we are really experiencing global warming.”

Insurance CEOs will gather for the annual General Assembly of industry think tank the Geneva Association, from May 30th to June 2nd, in the city where world leaders signed the Paris Agreement, committing to keep global warming “well below” 2°C. Climate change is increasing the frequency of natural disasters, which cost the world US$330 billion last year leaving insurers with record losses of US$144 billion.

It passed a motion on 2 May directed at CEOs of the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance companies, ahead of their annual meeting in the city later this month, which will increase pressure on them to divest from coal and stop insuring coal projects.

16 major insurers have now announced plans to divest an estimated €18 billion in equities and bonds. Some have gone further and announced restrictions on insuring coal projects.

The motion, tabled by five green councillors, also notes that although OECD countries must phase out coal by 2030 in order to keep global warming below 2°C, the coal industry plans to open new mines and to build 15 GW of new coal power in Europe, including 9 GW in Poland.


“Major European insurance and reinsurance companies such as Allianz, SCOR and Generali massively support, insure and invest in the coal industry in Poland,” the motion states.

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