AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. said it will phase out insurance cover and investments in the coal business globally within the next 20 years.
“It is our belief at AXIS that [insurance/reinsurance] industry needs to move to the forefront of the efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy,” AXIS President and CEO Albert Benchimol said in prepared remarks. “Today’s actions reflect the determination and commitment of our team to contribute to positive environmental change.”
Specifically, the Bermuda-based specialty insurer and reinsurer said it will phase out thermal coal business from its insurance, facultative reinsurance and investment portfolios by 2030 in the 38 countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the European Union. AXIS has committed to doing so globally by 2040.
AXIS said its broader policy continues to include provisions supporting renewable energy projects and companies that are transitioning business models away from thermal coal and oil sands. These measures are in addition to previously announced restrictions on activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Additionally, building on its commitment to renewable energy, the Company is investing $20 million in BlackRock’s Climate Finance Partnership (CFP), a fund focused on climate-infrastructure investments in emerging markets.
These actions support the Company’s broader corporate citizenship initiative led by AXIS General Counsel Conrad Brooks and Corporate Citizenship Committee Chair Anna Kukowski. The initiative is overseen by Benchimol and the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee of the AXIS Board of Directors.
Elana Sulakshana, Senior Energy Finance Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network, said in a statement that AXIS Capital’s new commitments on coal are “a major win for the climate.” She also encouraged other insurers including AIG, Berkshire Hathaway and Travelers to pursue their own coal restrictions, and Chubb, The Hartford and Liberty Mutual to enhance theirs.
Sources: AXIS Capital Holdings, Rainforest Action Network