RSA and Conduit Re distance themselves from Adani coal mine

RSA and Conduit Re distance themselves from Adani coal mine | Insurance Business Australia

RSA and Conduit Re distance themselves from Adani coal mine

Insurers globally have been distancing themselves from Adani Group’s (Adani) Carmichael coal mine project for a while now, with major UK insurers RSA Insurance Group (RSA) and Conduit Re (Conduit) becoming the latest companies to rule out underwriting for the controversial project in Australia.

In an email to environmental group Market Forces, RSA said its underwriters distanced themselves from the Adani Carmichael Coal Mining project in line with the company’s Climate Change and Low Carbon Policy.

Meanwhile, Conduit CEO Trevor Carvey commented that the insurer has backed other insurers’ decision to rule out insurance or underwriting for the project.

“Conduit Re does not insure the Adani Carmichael Mining project and has no intention of doing so in the future,” Carvey said, as reported by Market Forces.

Read more: Coal, oil sands companies face insurance issues

Adani’s insurance options for its coal mine project are rapidly dwindling, with RSA and Conduit becoming the 41st and 42nd insurance companies to rule out insurance for the project.

Aside from insurance companies, global investors have distanced themselves from Adani for climate concerns, with some refusing to support the group after it reached the coal seam on its Carmichael coal mine site.

In June 2021, climate campaigners revealed that Samsung, Norwegian pension fund KLP, and Storebrand refused to work with Adani as controversy over its mine grew. Aside from refusing to work with Adani, Samsung sold Adani Ports shares. At the same time, Nordic pension giants KLP and Storebrand dumped Adani Ports over concerns with the mine and Adani Ports’ links to the Myanmar military.

Market Forces campaigner Edoardo Riario Sforza said it is now up to UK-based Convex Insurance (Convex), which has so far rejected calls to clarify whether it will insure the massive new coal mine, to take a stand and release an announcement.

In Willis Towers Watson’s (WTW) “Managing the transition: Mining Risk Review 2020” report, the insurer named Convex one of the few companies willing to take on more coal businesses. However, despite its willingness to support coal businesses, the UK-based insurer has recently sponsored several environmental initiatives, such as the Blue Carbon Seascape Survey in partnership with the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and the University of Exeter.

Sforza commented: “By continuing to refuse to rule out Adani Carmichael, Convex is putting its reputation with its staff, the general public, and sponsor partners like the Blue Marine Foundation and the University of Exeter at serious risk.”

In response, Bravus Mining and Resources issued the following statement to Insurance Business.

“Bravus Mining and Resources has the requisite insurance in place for the Carmichael mine and rail project," it said. “The project is nearing completion and we are on track to export coal this calendar year.

“Coal cannot simply be wished out of the energy mix – developing nations in our region will require a mix of energy sources and technologies, including coal generation, to meet their economic and social aspirations and challenges.

“Removing Australian coal from the global seaborne market will only see other jurisdictions with more inferior quality coals, and less stringent environmental regulations fill the gap.  That means that the jobs and the economic prosperity associated with exporting coal would also be lost to Australia.

“The Adani Group, that Bravus Mining and Resources is a part of, is taking the transition to a lower carbon economy seriously – we are the world’s largest multi-national solar power company and we have aspirations to be the world’s largest renewables company. While many businesses are talking about transitioning, we are walking the talk when it comes to taking action on emissions reduction whilst also meeting the growing energy demand within our region.”