Climate activists on Tuesday delivered more than 27,000 petition signatures demanding that AIG CEO Peter Zaffino make major changes to how the insurer approaches climate change.
The delivery was part of an action that included protestors dumping coal outside AIG’s headquarters, and an activist dressed as Cindy Lou Who from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas asked Zaffino to end fossil fuel insurance.
“As one of the world’s largest underwriters of coal, oil and gas projects, AIG is fuelling the climate crisis,” said Hannah Saggau, insurance campaigner for Public Citizen. “The insurance giant needs to rapidly change course to help avert a planetary disaster. AIG must stop covering new fossil fuel projects immediately and get out of the business of accelerating climate change.”
Thirty-five (35) major insurers have limited or ended their coal underwriting. AIG, however, remains one of the last major insurers in the world that supports coal without restriction, the campaigners stated. Tuesday’s petition, backed by activist groups Public Citizen, Stand.Earth, and Stop the Money Pipeline, called on the insurer to:
- Stop insuring new and expanded coal, oil and gas projects immediately
- Phase out insurance for fossil fuel companies, starting with coal
- Divest completely from coal, oil and gas companies
- Respect human rights, including Indigenous people’s rights to free, prior and informed consent
During Tuesday’s action, activists from several groups protested AIG’s role in fossil fuel development outside the company’s headquarters, while a “Grinch” representing Zaffino circled the building on a platform stacked with coal.
“New York Communities for Change, NYCC, is in solidarity with the over 27,000 people that signed a petition to AIG demanding the insurance giant drop insurance for coal and other fossil fuels,” said José González, researcher for NYCC. “We will hold AIG responsible if it does not stop insuring and investing in fossil fuel projects.”
“People have died in NYC due to rising sea levels and stronger storms,” said Cherie Acierno of Rise and Resist. “If fossil fuel infrastructure doesn’t get insured, it can’t get built. AIG must stop insuring climate chaos and start insuring our future.”