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Lloyd’s Promises 2030 Withdrawal from Fossil Fuel Project Insurance, Draws Fire for Slow Timeline

Julia Kilpatrick, Pembina Institute/flickr

The world’s biggest insurance network, UK-based Lloyd’s, is promising to end new investments in tar sands/oil sands, Arctic oil and gas, and coal by 2022 and stop insuring any fossil projects at all by 2030.

By 2025, the company will “phase out existing investments in companies that derive 30% or more of their revenues from this area,” The Guardian reports [1].

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“We want to align ourselves with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the principles in the Paris Agreement,” said Lloyd’s Chair Bruce Carnegie-Brown. “A lot of syndicates are already doing some of the things we are setting out here, but we are trying to create a more comprehensive framework for the whole market.”

Lloyd’s drew immediate fire for announcing a decision that will take 10 years to implement.

“It’s a good step forward, but it’s clearly not ambitious enough,” said Lindsay Keenan, European coordinator of the Insure Our Future campaign. “The 2030 deadline is hard to justify given the science.”

But Carnegie-Brown defended the timing. “We want to try to support our customers in the transition and we don’t want to create cliff edges for them,” he said. “Oil is too fundamental an energy supply source for the world today, and it would be impossible to get out of that without creating real dislocation to our customers. It’s an issue of calibration over time.”

The Guardian said Lloyd’s declined to comment on its involvement in two intensely controversial projects that Keenan singled out for criticism: the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion [3] in Alberta and British Columbia, and the Adani Carmichael coal mine [4] in Australia.

Lloyd’s’ new commitment was contained in its first-ever environmental, social and governance report, The Guardian says. The company said fossil fuel projects account for less than 5% of the £35 billion in insurance premiums it collects each year.