Opinion | Chubb Deserves Kudos for Its Strong Stand on Climate Change

By: | September 15, 2019

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]

In a March 2019 column, I respectfully but firmly challenged commercial insurance companies with substantial U.S. operations to be more assertive in taking steps to curb carbon emissions.

Well, at least one of them stepped up and deserves to be lauded for it.

In July, Chubb Ltd. published a policy on underwriting coal.

The leading, publicly traded insurance company announced it will no longer underwrite the construction and operation of new coal-fired plants or new risks for companies that derive more than 30% of their revenues from coal mining or energy production from coal.

The company said that coverage for existing coal-plant risks that exceed this threshold will be phased out by 2022, and for utilities beginning in 2022.

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Chubb also announced it will not make new debt or equity investments in companies that generate more than 30% of revenues from thermal coal mining or energy production from coal.

In related action on this front, Germany announced in late August that it is phasing out all of its coal-fired plants.

“The policy we are implementing today reflects Chubb’s commitment to do our part as a steward of the earth,” said Evan Greenberg, the president and CEO of Chubb.

Good for Mr. Greenberg and well done by his company.

Now, I must ask, who among U.S.-based companies will follow their lead?

The ice sheet on Greenland is melting off. Siberia is on fire. India and its population of more than 1 billion are running out of water.

We know that insurance is a behavior modifier. The position taken by Chubb will have a positive impact on the fight to save our planet.

Now, let’s see more insurance companies follow this bold and righteous tack. &

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]