Arch Insurance has become the eighteenth insurer to sever ties with the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline project.
In an email to the environmental campaign group Coal Action Network, a spokesperson for Arch confirmed that the insurer will no longer insure the tar sands pipeline after its current insurance policy expires this summer.
“We can confirm that Arch Capital Group Ltd, on behalf of its underwriting operations, will not issue any future insurance policies covering the Trans Mountain Pipeline,” the spokesperson told Coal Action Network.
Charlene Aleck of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation's (TWN) Sacred Trust Initiative, which aims to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project, commented: “As the 18th insurer to rule out Trans Mountain, Arch is confirming that fossil fuel projects without free prior and informed consent are a material risk, and Trans Mountain's steps to keep their insurers secret will not stop the momentum towards a safer and more just world. Trans Mountain is currently looking for more financing to continue construction, but who will fund such a risky project?”
Environmental activists have been urging the insurance industry to cut ties with the tar sands pipeline expansion, especially the Lloyd's of London syndicates, collectively the biggest insurers for Trans Mountain, according to the last insurance certificate with company names listed.
Coal Action Network is among the environmentalists campaigning against insuring the Trans Mountain pipeline, Adani coal mine, West Cumbria coal mine, and the Cambo oilfields. In 2021, it held a climate memorial outside the Lloyd's headquarters in London to “honour the memories of every person harmed by the injustices of the climate crisis.”
Mary Lovell, insurance campaigner at Rainforest Action Network, which acts against industries driving deforestation and climate change, calls for Beazley, CNA Hardy, and other Lloyd's of London syndicates to drop Trans Mountain and rule out insurance coverage for the tar sands sector expansion.
“The Trans Mountain pipeline network is facing serious risks that financial institutions do not want to support: lack of consent from Indigenous communities, mounting costs, and massive climate and oil transport impacts,” Lovell added.