With Climate Change Still Our Biggest Threat, Why Inaction From U.S. Insurers Is Increasingly Indefensible

 Friday, December 11, 2020

 Risk & Insurance

Do you remember back in April when the price of a barrel of crude oil went negative for the first time in history? That shocking event was just another chapter in the downward trend in the value of fossil fuel assets the world over.

Over the past decade, (according to comparisons of the S&P 500, the S&P 500 Energy and the Dow Jones U.S. Coal indices on September 18, 2020) U.S. oil and gas companies lost 43 percent of their value, and coal companies lost a staggering 98 percent.

The COVID-19-induced economic recession is deepening these losses and making a compelling case for investing in and underwriting a clean energy economy.

In my former role as an employee at a large global property and casualty insurer, I advocated internally for the company to be more proactive in addressing its own stance on underwriting and investing in fossil fuel projects.

And while they and other insurers have made positive strides over the past several years, new research from the Insure Our Future campaign shows that the U.S. insurance industry unfortunately continues to lag far behind global peers when it comes to meaningful action to eliminate the human-made causes of climate change.
Risk Management