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Allianz ups coal no-go list, signs net-zero insurance alliance

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Allianz has outlined further measures to hasten its withdrawal from thermal coal activity for a faster reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over the next ten years.

Allianz will cease to insure or invest policyholder funds in companies that exceed thresholds for thermal coal mining and electricity generation from 2023, including coal-related infrastructure such as railways and ports and industry service providers such as repair and maintenance businesses.

The update comes as seven leading insurers and reinsurers establish a pioneering Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) which is expected to be launched at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.

Axa, which chairs the alliance, and Allianz, Aviva, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich have formed the NZIA in the belief the global insurance and reinsurance industry can play a key role in accelerating the transition to a resilient, net-zero emissions economy, in line with the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“The ‘race to zero’ has started already and with strong collaboration across all sectors and borders, we can bring the Paris Climate Goals into sight,” Allianz Head of Global P&C Roland Umbricht said.

“In the next decades, we as drivers of a sustainable financial ecosystem will support our clients and partners on their transformation to low-emission business practices.”

Allianz has achieved a 62% reduction in greenhouse gases per employee since 2010 across its global operations and Allianz Australia has committed to a further 35% reduction by 2025 from 2019 levels. It has invested in 116 wind and solar parks and its asset managers, Allianz Global Investors and PIMCO, invest in sustainable projects and companies.

Allianz Australia deputy MD Helen Silver says the insurer is working to unlock “positive and systemic change”.

“Tackling climate change must be viewed as an urgent, ongoing and collaborative endeavour,” Ms Silver said. “Our purpose is to help our customers and employees feel secure about the future, and this includes mitigating and managing environmental and social risks.”