Chubb, Mapfre and Tokio Marine have been named by Insure Our Future as insurers for Brazil’s national oil company Petrobras, which the climate action group says contradicts their net-zero policies and climate commitments.
Insure Our Future said the insurance industry must extend withdrawal from coal underwriting to all fossil fuels and “live up to its sustainability rhetoric”.
AXA, Liberty Mutual, Fairfax, Argo and local insurers have also been called out for insuring exploratory oil and gas operations by international companies in Brazil.
“Any company that claims to care about the climate, biodiversity and human rights cannot insure exploration and expansion of Brazil’s offshore oil reserves,” Insure Our Future said.
“Chubb – along with Liberty Mutual, Mapfre and Tokio Marine – needs to immediately rule out support for oil and gas expansion projects in Brazil and worldwide,” it added.
While 35 insurers have limited or withdrawn from coal underwriting, Insure Our Future said only four insurers have committed to end cover for new oil and gas production, where ten insurers write more than 70% of risks.
“Tokio Marine’s support for offshore oil exploration in Brazil contradicts the company’s net-zero commitment… Tokio Marine needs to create a comprehensive fossil-fuel policy that commits the company to not underwrite or invest in any fossil-fuel projects,” Insure Our Future said.
AXA “left the door open” for insuring new oil and gas expansion projects when it adopted an oil and gas underwriting policy last year, according to Insure Our Future.
“The fact that AXA can keep insuring oil companies and projects in one of the planet’s biodiversity and marine life hotspots goes to show that AXA’s current policy is both porous and ineffectual,” said Louis-Maxence Delaporte from Reclaim Finance.
According to Insure Our Future, which obtained the information through a freedom of information request, Chubb and Tokio Marine share cover 60/40 for Petrobras’s general civil liability insurance. Its transport insurance is split 50/40 between Chubb and Mapfre with Tokio Marine taking up the remaining 10%.
Petrobras, which drills more than 90% of Brazil’s oil and gas, is set to expand its offshore operations. Insure Our Future said this puts important ecosystems at risk, in direct conflict with climate change efforts to end fossil-fuel expansion, and should not be supported by insurers.
“Insuring or financing the expansion of the fossil-fuel industry anywhere – and especially in a place as important for global climate regulation and indigenous peoples as the Amazon biome – is a catastrophic choice that flies in the face of the latest climate science. Insurers and financiers everywhere must exit Amazon oil and gas immediately,” said Pendle Marshall-Hallmark, climate and finance campaigner at Amazon Watch.
Tzeporah Berman, international programme director for Stand.earth, said: “The science is clear that we need to stop expansion of new drilling and wind down production, and these insurance companies are lying if they say they care about climate change while facilitating the growth of the problem.”
Insure Our Future said its campaign is focused on pressuring insurers to stop underwriting new and expanded oil and gas projects off the coast of Brazil and worldwide, and for affected communities to be recompensed for loss and damage.