Green Century Capital Management filed a resolution calling on insurance giant Chubb to stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects. It filed similar resolutions at Travelers, and The Hartford in the first broad challenge the U.S. insurance industry has faced from its shareholders for its contributions to the climate crisis.
Without insurance, fossil fuel projects cannot be built or operated. Yet while Chubb has a policy restricting insurance for new coal-fired power plants and some coal companies, it is still one of the world’s largest insurers of oil and gas expansion. For example, it’s backing a massive expansion of offshore oil drilling in Brazil, driving the climate crisis as well as threatening Indigneous communities and fragile ecosystems. At the same time, Chubb is dropping clients in regions of California that have been affected by climate change-driven wildfires.
Green Century’s resolution calls on Chubb’s board of directors to “adopt and disclose new policies to help ensure that its underwriting practices do not support new fossil fuel supplies, in alignment with the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario.” The IEA has concluded that there is no room for any new fossil fuel projects if we are to avoid climate catastrophe.
“Investors are demanding that insurance companies stop supporting the rampant expansion of fossil fuels that is driving the climate crisis. They are part of a growing shareholder movement calling on companies to align their business with a 1.5ºC pathway,” said Elana Sulakshana, Senior Energy Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network.
In addition to the resolution on fossil fuel expansion, Chubb is also facing a resolution filed by the shareholder advocacy firm As You Sow that requests a plan for emissions reductions in line with a net-zero pathway.
In order to remain within safe climate limits and mitigate compliance and reputational risks to the insurer, Chubb’s investors must step up this AGM season and vote yes on Green Century Management’s resolution calling on Chubb to stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects.