EBR Staff Writer Published 13 December 2017
French multinational insurance firm, AXA has announced its plan to quadruple its original investment target in environmentally-friendly projects to reach €12bn ($14.1bn) by 2020, to help fight climate change.
The firm will also increase its divestment from the coal industry to €2.4bn ($2.8bn), an increase from previous plan made two years ago to divest €500m from companies which derive over 50% of their revenues from coal.
AXA said it would target companies which generate more than 30% of their revenues from coal, have a coal-based energy mix that exceeds 30%, actively build new coal-fired power plants, or produce more than 20 million tons of coal annually.
AXA CEO Thomas Buberl said: “We have made some pioneering moves since 2015, notably by starting to divest from coal, setting an ambitious green investments target, and restricting our insurance business with the coal industry.
“Today, in the spirit of the Paris Agreement, we want to accelerate our commitment and confirm our leadership in the fight against global warming.”
Additionally, the insurer plans to stop insuring potential new coal construction projects as well as the main oil sands and the associated pipeline businesses.
Meanwhile, AXA is launching $500m partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support climate related infrastructures projects, excluding coal and oil sands related projects, in emerging countries.
AXA said its leads the European Union High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, in addition to supporting several coalitions including the Climate Action 100+ initiative and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI).
According to a recent industry scorecard from the Unfriend Coal campaign, insurance companies have pulled out $20bn of investments in coal and a significant number of them are considering to end underwriting for new coal projects.
The report said that four European insurers including AXA, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich are making efforts to change coal underwriting.
Image: The firm will also increase its divestment from the coal industry to €2.4bn ($2.8bn). Photo: courtesy of John Kasawa/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.