If you thought the Adani project was the only one stirring up controversy among insurers, then think again.
Talanx Group, the name behind both Hannover Re and HDI, has dropped its support for Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline, according to emails to Canadian NGO Stand.earth, revealed by campaign group Insure Our Future (formerly Unfriend Coal).
Now, the campaign group has suggested that Munich Re could follow.
Subsidiaries of both Talanx and Munich Re were named on Trans Mountain’s certificate of insurance – they are among 11 companies offering $508 million of liability insurance for the 12-month period up to August 31, 2020. However, the emails suggest that Talanx actually pulled out of the project in 2019 – and HDI Global SE, which was listed as providing $85 million in cover jointly with other insurers, was wrongly listed. The group has been limiting its tar sands underwriting since this year.
Meanwhile, Munich Re is said to be reviewing its support after adopting a new policy on tar sands this year – it rules out insuring tar sands extraction projects and dedicated tar sands infrastructure, including pipelines.
“Talanx and Munich Re are joining some of the world’s largest financial institutions in steering clear of the oil sands sector. Trans Mountain is one of most controversial energy projects in Canada’s history, which is why a mounting list of insurers refuse to back the project,” said Sven Biggs, Canadian oil and gas programs director at Stand.earth.
Now calls are being made by the campaign group for other insurers to follow suit.
“Trans Mountain put in the existing line without the consent of impacted First Nations and we have said ‘no’ countless times to the proposed expansion. As Indigenous peoples we are stewards of our lands and waters. We have jurisdiction over activities that happen in our territories, and we don’t want them ruined by oil spills,” said Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and Chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band. “We will continue to advocate against the insurers that continue to back the Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion and call on all insurance companies to adopt policies stopping fossil fuel expansion.”
Currently, eight global insurers have implemented policies to limit or end insurance coverage for tar sands, including: AXA, AXIS Capital, Generali, The Hartford, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Talanx, and Zurich.