Allianz, Aviva, AXA, Generali, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re, and Zurich Insurance Group have teamed up to establish the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), which is convened by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative.
The NZIA founding members are committing to transition their insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. On Sunday (July 11), the alliance launched its statement of commitment at the G20 Climate Summit in Venice.
Under the pledge, the eight insurance groups will individually set science-based intermediate targets every five years and independently report on their progress on an annual basis. The commitments set out a framework spanning areas such as underwriting criteria and guidelines, insurance product development for low-emission and zero-emission technologies and nature-based solutions, and claims management.
Detailed implementation, meanwhile, will be developed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, the signatories are making an annual monetary contribution to the NZIA budget based on their respective gross written premiums.
In Italy, the goals were outlined by Generali boss Philippe Donnet, who was “proud to present this initiative on behalf of the alliance in the city of Venice in front of leaders from the most important economies in the world.” Donnet also highlighted the significant and longer-lasting impact that the insurance peers aim to achieve by joining forces. “United we are stronger,” he said.
All founding members of the NZIA are part of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance which came to life nearly two years ago. The NZIA is also joining the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, which brings together the financial alliances within the Race to Zero campaign of the UN.
AXA Group chief executive Thomas Buberl, whose camp chairs the NZIA, noted: “Through the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance launched in 2019, insurers and reinsurers are already working towards decarbonising their investment portfolios in line with climate science and the Paris Agreement.
“With this new Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, we are raising our climate ambition further by using our underwriting, claims, and risk management practices to help ensure and enable the transition to a resilient net-zero global economy.”
Following the launch, lobby group Insure Our Future said it “cautiously” welcomes the statement of commitment.
“The NZIA commitments clearly recognises that the real influence of (re)insurers lies in what they do and do not underwrite, even more so than their investments,” asserted campaigner Angelina Dobler. “Insurers and reinsurers know what needs to be done; now they just have to do it.”