Lloyd’s of London workers were met with some climate protesters raising their concerns as they returned to work after its underwriting room has remained shut since March due to the coronavirus pandemic

As Lloyd’s of London reopens its underwriting room today, campaigners voiced their concerns at its doors, urging the insurance marketplace to drop insurance and investments in coal and tar sands projects.

Staff entering Lloyd’s for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak were met by a message from masked campaigners of Insure Our Future telling the Lloyd’s market it must “wash its hands of coal and tar sands” insurance if it wants to protect the climate.

According to Insure Our Future, Lloyd’s of London maintains one of the worst climate records amongst global insurers.

By May 2020, 19 global insurers had restricted insurance and investments in coal and tar sands. 


Insure Our Future protesters outside Lloyd’s of London 

Credit: Aaron Parsons

But Lloyd’s covers various fossil fuel projects, including insurance for the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine in Australia, the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada and reinsurance for coal mines across Poland.

Moral imperative 

Lindsay Keenan, Insure our Future European coordinator, said: “Lloyd’s needs to act on the science, follow other leading insurers and stop providing the insurance cover that supports and enables climate destroying coal and tar sands projects.

“Lloyd’s has both a moral imperative and a long-term self-interest to act as society’s risk manager and stop being a stain on the European insurance industry.”

Coal is the world’s biggest single source of carbon emissions, and tar sands are one of the highest-carbon sources of oil on the planet, according to Insure Our Future.

And there are no new coal or tar sands projects that are consistent with the Paris climate targets of 1.5 Celsius warming.

Serious matter 

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Lloyd’s of London said in response to the protests: ”At Lloyd’s, we take climate change extremely seriously and recognise the important role insurance is playing in supporting, accelerating and de-risking the transition to a low carbon economy. Whilst the Lloyd’s Corporation does not set underwriting policy in the market, unless there is a specific legal or regulatory requirement to do so, we are nevertheless committed to building consensus across the 90-plus syndicates that operate at Lloyd’s to drive this transition.

”Many firms in the Lloyd’s market are taking steps towards restricting insurance coverage for thermal coal extraction or energy production, and are divesting in companies involved in the coal sector. Lloyd’s is also focused on encouraging innovation in renewable energy cover and the market currently insures renewable energy sources such as wind farms, geo-thermal risks, solar power facilities.”


”We will build on this momentum by working with the market to ensure it complies with requirements for disclosure and risk management, as well as providing guidance to firms in the Lloyd’s market planning to withdraw insurance cover and investments for carbon-intensive projects. Lloyd’s Corporation will maintain its divestment policy for its Central Fund, introduced in 1 April 2018, that screens out investments in companies heavily associated with coal, the spokesperson for Lloyd’s of London continued. 

”We are continuing to analyse the risks and opportunities associated with the transition to a low carbon economy for the benefit of the market and our customers to develop innovative insurance solutions for low-carbon sectors including renewables, the circular economy and electric transport, in line with evolving UN [United Nations] climate aims.”

Read more…London Market sectors swerve direct Covid claims due to lack of non-damage BI extensions

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