Insurer Allianz aims to become climate neutral by 2050
AFP / Handelsblatt
Allianz, Germany’s leading insurer, aims to make its investments completely climate-neutral by the middle of the century, company CEO OIiver Bäte told shareholders, news agency AFP reports. At the insurance company’s annual general meeting, Bäte said the 2050 goal was a sign of the company’s “commitment to society” and that the company would no longer put money into companies that actively contribute to global warming. "As a leading insurer and investor, we know exactly what the devastating consequences could be when climate policy is exhausted in debates, yet no action follows," the chief executive said. Quoted in a separate article in Handelsblatt, Bäte said: “We are very serious about this topic,” adding that the company with 140,000 employees would make its own business operations climate-neutral by 2023.
Allianz’s decision to opt for climate neutrality is in line with other initiatives in the financial sector aimed at making investments more sustainable. The company announced in May 2018 that it would stop selling insurance coverage to coal companies in an effort to fight climate change. Reinsurance companies Hannover Re and Munich Re announced similar policies to reduce their exposure to the coal industry but critics say that these withdrawals from the fossil industry are often half-hearted as the insurance companies remain involved in carbon-intensive activities abroad or through indirect investments.