Activist investment fund Green Century Capital Management has filed shareholder resolutions aimed at forcing three insurance companies to stop offering coverage to oil and gas companies, MarketWatch reports.
In response, the targets of the arm-twisting attempt—Chubb, Travelers, and The Hartford—filed no-action requests with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Green Century Capital Management resolutions call on the insurers to “adopt and disclose new policies to help ensure that its underwriting practices do not support new fossil fuel supplies, in alignment with the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s net-zero emissions by 2050 scenario.”
The scenario in question was released as a Road Map to Net Zero by the IEA in May 2021. In it, the agency said the world would not need so much oil and gas in the future, so new oil and gas exploration needs to stop immediately. A few months later, however, the IEA was vocal in its calls on OPEC to boost oil production as demand rose faster than expected.
A growing number of companies from various industries are becoming targets for activist investors, insistent that more action needs to be taken to reduce carbon emissions.
“Investors are demanding that insurance companies stop supporting the rampant expansion of fossil fuels that is driving the climate crisis,” said Elana Sulakshana from the Rainforest Action Network as quoted by MarketWatch.
“But instead of taking concrete action to limit fossil fuel insuring and investing, Chubb, Travelers and The Hartford are trying to silence their shareholders and continue business as usual,” she added.
Speaking of fossil fuel financing, a recent study from a group of nongovernmental organizations found that top international banks had provided some $1.5 trillion in direct financing and debt underwriting services to the coal industry between 2019 and 2021. All of the banks involved, including HSBC, Barclays, and Mizuho, had made emission-cutting pledges.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Add to this the IEA’s discredited net-zero emissions 2050 roadmap calling for the immediate halting of any new investments in oil and gas and the EUs hasty policies to accelerate energy transition at the expense of fossil fuels and we get the most explosive and destructive way to inflict the worst damage on the global economy and precipitate the worst global energy crisis in history.
Any wonder then why Europe is embroiled in its worst energy crisis in years, why investments in global oil and gas are declining steeply, why global spare oil production capacity is shrinking fast and why oil and gas prices as well as electricity prices are rocketing?
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London