In a statement, Zurich said that “after establishing a standardized methodology for measuring and disclosing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated to insurance and reinsurance underwriting portfolios, we want to focus our resources to support our customers with their transition.”
“We continue to remain fully committed to our sustainability ambitions and to supporting the net-zero transition.”
Zurich is the second founding company, after Munich Re, to exit the NZIA in a matter of days.
Munich Re CEO, Joachim Wenning, said in a statement last week that “the opportunities to pursue decarbonization goals in a collective approach among insurers worldwide without exposing ourselves to material antitrust risks are so limited.”
Climate campaigners were quick to react to Zurich’s exit from the insurance alliance.
Jennifer Buchli, a climate campaigner from Zurich-based social justice collective Campax, said that “unlike Munich Re and other peers, Zurich continues to underwrite new oil and gas projects.”
“It is not credible for Zurich to engage their customers on the net zero transition as long as the insurer doesn’t end their support for the expansion of oil and gas extraction themselves.”
Peter Bosshard, coordinator of the Insure Our Future campaign, said: “The NZIA has allowed itself to be immobilised by antitrust concerns from the start. With Munich Re and now Zurich leaving the alliance, insurers have an even bigger direct responsibility to align their businesses with a credible 1.5C pathway,” he said.
“Competition authorities in the EU and UK should have clarified their antitrust laws,” said Ariel Le Bourdonnec of Reclaim Finance, a climate-based campaigning and research organization from France. “These laws, initially meant to prevent business abuses, must not prohibit collective efforts to combat the climate emergency. Collective climate action from insurers and reinsurers is welcome."
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