Lloyd’s of London was the focus of climate change activists on Friday, when a group called “Insurance Rebellion” used a dump truck to deposit a large pile of fake coal in front of the Lloyd’s headquarters on One Lime Street.

A pile of black rubble was used to block the main entrance to the building, the group said. Police arrested two protestors, who were dressed as builders, for obstructing the highway.

“Every day [that] Lloyd’s continues to insure fossil fuel projects, we move one step closer to climate breakdown,” said Harriet, 28, in a statement issued by Insurance Rebellion. “They are complicit in the destruction of our planet, causing millions of people’s homes to be flooded, burnt to the ground in wildfires, and reclaimed by rising sea levels. Fossil fuel companies can’t run without insurance, so let’s stop insuring them.”

The group said the dumped “coal’ aims to highlight Lloyd’s support for the world’s most polluting projects — which include the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Australia.

Climate change protestors at Lloyd’s of London. Photo credit: Insurance Rebellion

A Lloyd’s spokesperson responded with the following comment:

“Lloyd’s is committed to accelerating its transition towards a more sustainable insurance and reinsurance marketplace, and has set out specific actions and commitments to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement. We are actively involved in constructive engagement on the issue of climate change and continue to explore the ways in which Lloyd’s can support a responsible transition.”

“To enable the market to support their customers as they transition their businesses away from fossil fuels, the new standards Lloyd’s have set for the market are targeted and phased,” said the Lloyd’s spokesperson.Lloyd’s also received recent activist pressure from Insure our Future, the anti-fossil-fuel campaign group, which wants Lloyd’s to immediately stop insuring coal and new oil and gas projects that exacerbate climate change, rather than Lloyd’s phased approach, which it revealed in its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, published in December 2020.

We have asked managing agents to no longer provide new insurance cover for thermal coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines, oil sands or new Arctic energy exploration activities from Jan. 1, 2022. The target date for phasing out the renewal of existing insurance cover for these types of businesses is Jan. 1, 2030,” continued the statement from Lloyd’s

Insurance Rebellion, which launched in April 2021, said it aims to halt climate and ecological breakdown by ending the insurance of fossil fuel projects and companies. The initial focus of the group is Lloyd’s of London, which it says provides around 40% of energy insurance worldwide. The group describes itself as a coalition of climate movements, with today’s Lloyd’s protest as its first.

When asked whether Insurance Rebellion was connected to Insure our Future, an Insurance Rebellion spokesman said: “While we stand in solidarity with Insure Our Future and similar groups, they are not involved in Insurance Rebellion.”

The spokesman signed his emailed statement: “Love and rage, Insurance Rebellion.”

Top photograph: Climate activists deposit a large pile of fake coal in front of Lloyd’s headquarters in London. Photo credit: Insurance Rebellion.

*This story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.

Topics Excess Surplus Energy Oil Gas Climate Change Lloyd's London