France’s Largest Insurer Dumps Coal, Embraces Greentech
France’s largest insurance company is dropping its remaining investments in coal, tripling its investment in green technologies, and citing climate change is the major threat behind its decision.
At a business and climate conference in Paris last month, AXA “announced that it would sell €500 million (US$559 million) in coal assets by the end of 2015, while increasing its ‘green investments’ in things like renewable energy, green infrastructure, and green bonds to €3 billion (US$3.3 billion) by 2020,” Think Progress reported. In his announcement, CEO Henri de Castries “spoke about the threat that climate change poses to the environment, and the responsibility of insurance companies to deal with those threats.”
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“Insurers are the mirror of what happens in the economy and in the society,” he later told Bloomberg Television, and climate change is “an extremely large risk.” In 2014, Geiling writes, AXA paid more than €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in weather-related insurance claims.