American International Group (AIG) has announced that it has committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global underwriting and investment portfolios by 2050 or before. The announcement complements AIG’s earlier commitment to achieve net zero emissions within its own operations by 2050 or sooner.
“Leading change in a changing world requires being a company of action – and, as a market leader, AIG is committed to setting the standard with our actions,” said Peter Zaffino, chairman and CEO of AIG. “We believe today’s ESG commitments are an important step forward for AIG, the clients we serve and the global communities where we live and work. AIG is focused on the realities of climate change. The data about climate change is unambiguous, and we believe that AIG can be a catalyst for positive change as it relates to sustainability advancements and renewable energy expansion.”
Specific actions announced by AIG include:
- Commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its underwriting or investment portfolios by 2050 or before.
- Reaffirmation of last year’s operational net zero commitment by 2050 or before.
- Commitment to 100% renewable energy for AIG’s operations by 2030 or sooner.
- Commitment to using science-based emissions reduction targets, aligning with the latest climate science to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement.
- Effective immediately, AIG has committed to no longer invest in or provide insurance for the construction of any new coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines or oil sands.
- Effective immediately, the company has committed to no longer invest in or underwrite new operation insurance risks of coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines or oil sands for clients that derive 30% or more of their revenues from these industries or generate more than 30% of their energy from coal.
- Committed to phasing out the underwriting of all existing operation insurance risks and ceasing new investments with clients that derive 30% or more of their revenues from coal-fired power, thermal coal mines or oil sands, or generate more than 30% of their energy production from coal, by Jan. 1, 2030, or sooner.
- Effective immediately, the company has committed to not investing in or providing insurance cover for any new Arctic energy exploration activities.
“We are committed to a transparent journey toward sustainability advancement,” said Constance Hunter, executive vice president and global head of strategy and ESG at AIG. “We are having constructive discussions with all our stakeholders on this important issue and look forward to reporting progress. We will work together with our clients and distribution partners, in particular, to ensure an ongoing transition to a net zero future and provide guidance on feasible solutions designed to help manage climate-related risks.”
In the coming months, AIG will release science-based targets as part of its net zero roadmap, including plans for its phase-out of fossil fuels.
The announcement marks a major change for AIG, which had come under increasing pressure from environmental groups as one of the last major US insurers with no restrictions on coal. Environmental advocacy organisation Public Citizen said AIG’s new commitments are “major steps” to protect the environment.
“As one of the last major insurers without restrictions on coal insurance, AIG’s new commitments to reduce underwriting for coal, tar sands oil, and Arctic oil and gas are a major step forward for people and the planet,” said Hannah Saggau, insurance campaigner for Public Citizen. “AIG has vaulted itself from a laggard in the industry to a leader in the US, and we look forward to working with it to meet and improve on these commitments.”