French global insurer AXA has become the latest to announce that it is cutting ties with coal. AXA has told European coal companies that they should publish plans to phase out coal in accordance with the UN Paris climate agreement by 2021. AXA has also announced that it will totally phase out its insurance and investment exposure to coal in European Union countries and member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by 2030. It will phase out insurance and investment in coal everywhere else by 2040.
The policy will exclude approximately 400 companies with coal-plant and mine expansion plans. It includes a refusal to renew contracts for clients highly exposed to coal, AXA said.
“AXA has set a new benchmark for best practice with this announcement,” said Lucie Pinson, European coordinator for Unfriend Coal. “Zero tolerance for coal expansion is the only responsible action in a carbon-constrained world, and dumping coal companies like RWE, Adani and KEPCO is essential for financial institutions that do not want to be complicit in the damage to climate and human health these companies cause.”
“Banks, investors and insurers are now under great pressure to up their game on climate with new coal policy announcements,” said Kaarina Kolle, finance and utility coordinator for Europe Beyond Coal. “The only defensible position is one like AXA’s – a strong 2030 phase-out commitment for EU and OECD countries, coupled with detailed near-term plans on delivering it.”