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AXIS Capital announces new policy on fossil fuels

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World Coal,

On 16 October, insurer AXIS Capital announced a new policy on fossil fuels to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. In an unprecedented step for a US insurer, AXIS Capital will restrict insurance for both coal and tar sands projects and companies.

AXIS Capital is an insurer and reinsurer that is active in the energy sector. It is registered in Bermuda but the majority of employees, including senior management, and business operations are in the US. According to the new policy, AXIS will not provide insurance or facultative reinsurance for new thermal coal or tar sands extraction and pipeline projects and their dedicated infrastructure. It will also end coverage for companies generating at least 30% of their revenues from thermal coal mining, producing at least 30% of their power from coal, or holding more than 20% of their reserves in tar sands.

However, the policy includes exemptions for “countries where sufficient access to alternative energy sources is not available” over the next 5 years. This could allow AXIS to cover the majority of the more than 800 coal-fired power plants currently proposed globally, effectively postponing action until 2025.

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