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Insurers face pressure to refuse support for Carmichael coal mine

Coal News - Published on Tue, 11 Dec 2018

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73 organizations, representing a combined membership of more than 76 million people, are sending an open letter to 30 global insurance companies today, calling on them to publicly rule out any insurance services for Adani Group’s Carmichael coal mine and associated rail project in Queensland, Australia. The letter was announced at a press conference at COP24, the U.N. climate talks. It calls on insurance companies to refrain from insuring the project – and Adani as a whole, so long as they are proceeding with the Carmichael mine – in light of its potential climate, social, and broader environmental impacts. It asks them to respond by Friday 14 December, after which the coalition will make public the commitments it has received.

The project consists of a major thermal coal mine and an approximately 200 km long rail line. Adani has tried to raise bank financing, but 37 global financial institutions, including all Australia’s major banks, have publicly rejected any involvement. On 29 November, the company announced plans to self-finance the entirety of the Carmichael mine and rail line, a US$1.5 billion project. This leaves insurance as a critical missing piece of financial support for the project.

Seven leading insurers have already announced that they will not insure new coal mines and plants: Swiss Re; Generali; Zurich; Allianz; AXA; SCOR; and Munich Re. However, many major companies continue to insure new coal projects, including US insurers AIG, Berkshire Hathaway, Chubb and Liberty Mutual, Australian insurers QBE and Suncorp, the Talanx subsidiary HDI, and the reinsurer Hannover Re. And the seven insurers who have pledged not to insure new coal projects have not all committed to withdrawing cover for the infrastructure they rely on, such as rail links.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Tue, 11 Dec 2018
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