Saturday, 10 June 2023


More insurers desert net-zero alliance as Carney’s climate group sounds alarm By Reuters

More insurers desert net-zero alliance as Carney's climate group sounds alarm


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of insurer Allianz SE is seen on the company building in Puteaux at the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, outside Paris, France, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo


By Tommy Wilkes

LONDON (Reuters) – “Political attacks” are interfering with insurers’ efforts to price climate risks, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) said on Friday, after five insurers quit an industry climate group within 24 hours in the wake of pressure in the United States.

Australia’s QBE Insurance (AX:) said on Friday it had left the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), joining Germany’s Allianz (ETR:), France’s AXA and SCOR and Japan’s SOMPO Holdings, which left after accusations from U.S. Republican attorney generals that insurers are violating antitrust laws.

“These political attacks are now interfering with insurers’ independent efforts to price climate risk, which will harm policyholders, main street investors and local economies,” a spokesperson for GFANZ, a United Nations-backed coalition of financial institutions launched by ex-Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, said in a statement.

Nine big insurers have now left NZIA in less than two months, an exodus that has raised questions about the viability of the coalition, which was formed in 2021 and requires members to commit to reducing their portfolio greenhouse gas emissions to a net-zero level by 2050.

Lloyd’s of London CEO John Neal told Reuters this week the alliance needed to make its membership rules less prescriptive or it risked falling apart.

Members of NZIA held several calls this week on the alliance’s options, sources said.

Some Republican politicians have mounted a campaign against financial institutions collaborating to try and rein in carbon emissions, part of a broader pushback against businesses using environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) factors in their decision-making.

Vanguard, one of the world’s biggest asset managers, in December left another alliance for fund managers, citing a need for independence, although other GFANZ groups have largely withstood the pressure.


According to the NZIA website, it now has 22 members including Britain’s Aviva (LON:) and Lloyd’s of London and Japan’s Tokio Marine Holdings.

Legal experts say it would be hard to make a legal case against insurers for breaching antitrust laws, and the NZIA has sought legal advice when setting requirements…

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