XL Insurance to Cut Coal Industry Business Under Parent AXA’s Climate Order

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AXA, France’s biggest insurer, has extended its climate change policy to its recently acquired XL division, joining a growing list of European insurers that have taken action to help to tackle global warming.

AXA, Europe’s second largest insurer after Allianz, said XL would stop insuring projects related to the construction of coal-fired power plants and to tar sands extraction and pipelines, which will mean a 100 million euro ($113.60 million) revenue loss, mainly in 2020, AXA said.
Durum A hundred million euros is a lot of money, but when you take AXA’s world revenue into account, this is something we can absorb in terms of business growth, ından said Jad Ariss, head of AXA’s public affairs and corporate responsibility.

AXA reported annual revenues of € 98.6 billion for 2017.

Previously purchased by AXA in a 15 billion-dollar deal earlier this year, the XL-based XL deals with property and accident insurance in the United States.

Many European insurance companies and banks have committed to withdrawing from the polluting industries and activist investors for pressurized polluting industries.

The announcement by AXA to the XL department follows the Italian rival General’s commitment to stop providing insurance to new coal mines and facilities at the beginning of this month.

Other insurance sector players such as Scor, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance have also announced specific restrictions on carbon-intensive industries.
European insurance companies have been more proactive in terms of climate change policies than their competitors in the United States.

Reducing the insurance coverage of the coal industry increases the cost of coal production, which can increase the pressure to move public services to cleaner energy.

Next month, the United Nations climate change conference takes place in Poland.

XL will also stop investing in coal and tar sands. Ariss, the AXA official, said the company will sell 660 million euros worth of financial assets starting from 2019.

At the end of 2017, AXA had taken the step of separating from the coal and tar industry.

Ariss said the XL would also avoid investing in the tobacco industry and assets related to chemical and biological weapons, cluster bombs, or anti-personnel mines.

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