Paris City Council has urged European insurance and reinsurance companies to ditch their support of the coal industry in Europe and in Poland in particular, calling out several insurers directly.
In a motion passed last night, the council put pressure on insurers to commit to action ahead of the Geneva Association’s general assembly in Paris later this month, which will be attended by insurance industry leaders, the Unfriend Coal campaign said.
“The City of Paris invites the insurance and reinsurance companies, gathered in Paris for the meeting of the Geneva Association at the end of May, to commit to opposing air pollution and to withdraw their support from projects and companies in the coal sector, notably in the European Union and more particularly in Poland,” the motion stated, according to Unfriend Coal.
The council said that major European insurance and reinsurance companies, “such as Allianz, SCOR and Generali, massively support, insure and invest in the coal industry in Poland.”
It added that the council “encourages the insurance companies with which it holds contracts not to invest in coal sector companies, but to increase their investments in the renewable energy sector.”
A number of insurers have distanced themselves from the coal industry in recent months as pressure from environmental campaigners has mounted.
Generali has defended its climate change strategy, and Allianz has outlined its approach to assessing risk following criticism.
According to the Unfriend Coal, a network of NGOs and social movements calling for insurance companies to divest from and cease underwriting coal, the industry is the “single biggest source of CO2 emissions” and pollution from coal can cause strokes, heart and lung disease and lung cancer.