Munich Re concludes Net-Zero Insurance Alliance membership

However, chief exec underscores "unwavering" climate commitment

Munich Re concludes Net-Zero Insurance Alliance membership


By Mia Wallace

The German-headquartered reinsurance giant Munich Re has today announced the discontinuation of its membership in the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA).

Commenting on the decision, CEO Joachim Wenning, said: “In our view, the opportunities to pursue decarbonization goals in a collective approach among insurers worldwide without exposing ourselves to material antitrust risks are so limited that it is more effective to pursue our climate ambition to reduce global warming individually.”

In a Press release, the reinsurer stressed that it is sticking to its ambitious climate targets, including the reduction of GHG emissions related to its investment portfolio by 29% by the end of 2025, and thereafter successively brought down to net zero by 2050.

In addition, Munich Re noted its ambition to reduce its climate-related industry exposure to the exploration and production of oil and natural gas (primary insurance, direct and facultative reinsurance) in such a way that there will be no associated net GHG emissions by 2050. The reinsurer’s first step will be to aim to reduce emissions by 5% by 2025.

As of April 2023, Munich Re has stated that it will not insure projects involving new oil and gas fields or new midstream oil infrastructure. At the same time, it will reduce thermal-coal-related exposure in its direct and facultative insurance business by 35% Group-wide by 2025 - before eliminating this exposure altogether by 2040. The reinsurer also noted that since 2018, it has stopped insuring new coal-fired plants, coal mines and since, 2019 oil sand mines.

Meanwhile, regarding the emissions from its own operations, Munich Re highlighted that it has been carbon-neutral since 2015 and previously reduced CO2 emissions per employee by 44% from 2009 to 2019. Current GHG emissions are to be reduced by a further 12% per employee by 2025. By 2030, Munich Re expects to achieve net-zero GHG emissions in its operations.

"Our climate commitment is unwavering,” Wenning said. “We follow scientific recommendations. To date we are decarbonizing even faster than what is required to reach net zero by 2050.”

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