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article imageAllianz stops insuring coal-fired power plants and coal mines

By Karen Graham     May 9, 2018 in World
Munich - Munich, Germany-based Allianz Group announced on Friday that it would refuse insurance coverage of coal-fired power plants and coal mines effective immediately, and would aim to get rid of all coal risks in its business by 2040.
In announcing its "climate protection package" last week, Allianz, ranked as one of the top three insurers on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s most powerful companies, said its new policy was the first step towards the firm's complete withdrawal from the coal business by 2040, reports Deutsche Welle.
Additionally, Allianz will also gradually stop investing in companies that fail to reduce their carbon emissions in line with the 2-degree trajectory agreed under the Paris Climate Agreement, and will "immediately" stop investing in energy companies that "put the 2-degree target at risk" by extensively building coal-fired power plants, according to Green Biz.
"We want to promote the transition to a climate-friendly economy," said chief executive Oliver Bäte, adding that the company wanted to get "even more serious on global warming."
For the time being, Allianz will continue to work with energy sector companies that have multiple sources of energy, including renewables, coal and other fossil fuels. The company wants to "work closely together" with those companies in developing low-carbon alternatives.
Strengthening Allianz's coal divestment policy,
In the latter part of 2015, Allianz announced it would stop financing coal-based business models — including companies that derived more than 30 percent of their revenue from coal mining or generated over 30 percent of their energy from coal. The announcement came shortly before a crucial UN climate summit in Paris aimed at keeping global warming at bay.
According to company records, Allianz had assets totaling €664 billion ($794 billion) in its portfolio in 2015. The insurer has since removed stakes worth €225 million under the program.
Antiquated coal-fired power plants generate nearly all of Poland's electricity  giving it some ...
Antiquated coal-fired power plants generate nearly all of Poland's electricity, giving it some of the most toxic air in the 28-member EU
JANEK SKARZYNSKI, AFP/File
According to the Allianz policy memo outlining its move last week's move: Single-site/stand-alone coverage means the covering of loss and damages for a single power plant and/or mine (green- and brownfield) for an insured, as well as for offering guarantees (bonds) to a respective client. The exclusion is applicable for new (first time) contracts and the renewal of contracts
"Climate change generates enormous economic and social risks. It is already harming millions of people today,” explained Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz SE. “As a leading insurer and investor, we want to promote the transition to a climate-friendly economy.”
This forward-thinking policy is also in line with environmental groups who repeatedly called on Allianz to stop insuring coal companies, specifically in Poland where the insurer has strong market share.
And last, but certainly, in line with Allianz's new policy decision, Clean Technica is reporting that the insurer has joined the Science-Based Target Initiative. Well over 100 companies around the world have joined this coalition that provides companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
More about allianz, coal divestment policy, insurer, Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, Investments