“We… are writing to inform you that we will not work for your companies if you insure new fossil fuel expansion and projects such as the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and the Rosebank oil field.”
Those were the words of students and recent graduates from University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Science, Imperial College London, University College London, King’s College London, University of Warwick, University of Edinburgh, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, and University of Sheffield in an open letter published by Uplift, Let’s Stop EACOP UK, and the Insure Our Future campaign.
The letter seen by Insurance Business was addressed to the management of Lloyd’s, Beazley, Brit, Hiscox, Liberty Managing Agents, Chaucer, and Tokio Marine Kiln. It’s unclear exactly how many students and young graduates signed the letter, but a report by The Guardian quantified the signatories as “more than 500”.
Part of the letter reads: “Insurance companies have a huge amount of power to help steer us towards a greener and sustainable future. But instead of protecting us from catastrophic damages caused by the climate crisis, it turns out that insurance companies in the Lloyd’s of London market are actually massively continuing to back dirty, destructive fossil fuel projects for profits.
“Since June 2022, many students have spent hours protesting in front of Lloyd’s of London and the offices of many managing agents, as well as emailing and calling their employees, to discuss the outstanding risks of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline and the Rosebank oil field and the necessity to stop insuring climate wrecking projects.”
The signatories asserted that “fossil fuel projects belong in the past” and that new projects should not be backed by insurance.
“The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report states that existing fossil fuel infrastructure already exceeds the emission thresholds that would allow us to limit warming to 1.5°C by 2050,” they noted. “Creating new fossil fuel infrastructure will only take us further beyond these thresholds into runaway climate chaos. The International Energy Agency itself affirmed in 2021 that there should be no more exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields.
“If coal, oil, and gas companies can’t find insurance or afford insurance, they won’t be able to build new projects or continue operating dirty infrastructure that drives the climate crisis, harms local communities, and violates Indigenous rights. Yet insuring climate chaos continues.”
In the letter, the students and young graduates pledged to only work for insurance companies with what were described as “coherent, costed climate strategies” that equate to the urgency of the matter.
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