Willis chairman says project not an ecological disaster

Joe Plumeri, chairman and chief executive of Willis, this week moved to allay concerns over the broker’s involvement in the controversial Three Gorges Dam project in China, writes James Dean.

Construction of the dam, which will create the world’s largest source of hydroelectric power, has so far led to the displacement of more than a million people and hundreds of thousands more may have to be moved. The Chinese government admitted it was a potential environmental catastrophe in October last year.

Speaking to Insurance Times following a speech at Lloyd’s last week, Plumeri said: “I do not see the project as an ecological or humanitarian disaster. The people that have been displaced were already being displaced yearly by floodwaters, and the benefit to the rest of the population is huge.”

Earlier this month, human rights organisation The Burma Campaign UK commended Willis for stating its intention to pull out of Burma by the end of April.