U.S. Insurers: Stop Underwriting and Investing in Fossil Fuels
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NOTE: This petition is for new and future insurance professionals to communicate our expectations for U.S. insurance companies to be more environmentally responsible. Please only sign it if you are a part of or are planning to join the insurance workforce.
The effects of climate change are no longer a future problem. As sea levels and temperatures rise, so does the frequency and severity of catastrophic claims across the United States. Most major European and Australian insurers have recognized their role in the problem and have committed to stop investing in and underwriting fossil fuels, specifically coal or tar sands. In contrast, only four major U.S. insurers have adopted policies against coal, two of which have adopted policies that exclude or limit tar sands.
Will the U.S. insurance industry be proactive and cut ties with fossil fuels? Or will it pay billions of dollars in losses in the coming decades while underwriting projects and investing in companies that are causing climate change?
Our generation will bear the weight of climate change. But as the young, fresh talent for the insurance industry, we have a special opportunity to be a part of the solution and show that our enthusiasm for this profession comes with an expectation that insurers take climate change seriously. We therefore call on the United States insurance industry to cease underwriting and investing in fossil fuels.
Please see the full statement below:
We, the undersigned, as both prospective employees in the insurance industry and concerned individuals whose generation will be directly affected by climate change, call on the entire U.S. insurance industry to immediately begin to limit underwriting and investing in coal and other fossil fuels.
We recognize the severe economic, social, and environmental consequences of allowing an average global temperature increase to surpass 1.5°C. This includes a recent estimate from Moody’s Analytics that the global cost of climate change in 80 years could reach $69 trillion (1).
There is now global recognition of how the insurance industry contributes to climate change by underwriting and investing in fossil fuels. Insurers’ decision to continue to support the fossil fuel sector directly contradicts the actions needed to mitigate the climate crisis and to protect long term economic stability. Furthermore, we cannot in good faith offer products to communities that are increasingly affected by global warming knowing that their premiums are financing fossil fuels.
As the incoming workforce, we look forward to bringing our talents, creativity, and enthusiasm to the insurance field. While we are excited to contribute to the industry’s success, we need to know that our professional energy and efforts are not contributing to the climate crisis. Our generation will bear the brunt of the economic and societal impacts of climate change and we want to work in an industry that is part of the solution.
We applaud the actions that many of the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance companies have taken to restrict underwriting and investments to parts of the fossil fuel sector. As we consider future employers, a company’s fossil fuel policies and investments will be factors influencing our decisions.
We therefore call on all U.S. insurance companies, our future employers, to join their global peers to restrict their own underwriting and investments in fossil fuels. We look forward to working together to build a prosperous, safe, and sustainable world for future generations.
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