With Lloyd’s of London today reopening its underwriting hall, returning colleagues have been ‘welcomed’ back with a bang courtesy of an Insure Our Future protest.
The protest (pictured above, courtesy of Aaron Parsons Photography) sees insurance professionals returning to work met by the campaign message that Lloyd’s market must “wash its hands of coal and tar sands” in a bid to protect the climate.
It aims to highlight that coal remains the biggest single source of carbon emissions and notes that, since 2017, 19 global insurers have restricted insurance for and investments in coal and tar sands, while Lloyd’s has stepped in to cover various controversial fossil fuel projects – including the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine in Australia, the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada, and reinsurance for Polish coal mines.
Campaigners have criticised Lloyd’s for not taking meaningful action on climate change, and have stated that the market is “undermining the positive climate action of other insurers.” A report from the Insure Our Future campaign last year, suggested that Lloyd’s has become the “insurer of last resort” for fossil fuel projects.
European coordinator of Insure our Future, Lindsay Keenan said that Lloyd’s needs to act on the science and follow other leading insurers in stop providing insurance cover which supports and enables climate-destroying coal and tar sands projects.
“Lloyd’s has both a moral imperative and a long-term self interest to act as society’s risk manager,” Keenan said, “and stop being a stain on the European insurance industry.”
Carrie Tsai, spokesperson for the Stop Adani campaign said: “Lloyd’s must refuse insurance for Adani’s deeply unpopular and environmentally destructive Carmichael coal project. Lloyd’s needs to act on the climate crisis, not act as the last refuge for climate wreckers like Adani to secure insurance. Insurers who associate with Adani’s toxic brand cause massive damage to their reputation.”
A coalition of 140 groups representing 24 million people has written to Lloyd’s requesting it not to renew its insurance for the Trans Mountain pipeline. This is due to the project’s contribution to the climate crisis, Indigenous rights violations and environmental justice concerns. The existing policy expired on August 31.
Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director for Stand.earth said: “Tar sands are some of the dirtiest, most carbon intensive oils in the world. So when a company like Lloyd’s chooses to continue to support projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline, which will grow the tar sands and speed up climate change, what they are really choosing to do is put their short term profits ahead of everyone else’s right to a safe planet.”