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15 Mar 2021, 13:35
Charlotte Nijhuis

NGO calls on insurance companies to stop supporting Europe's LNG infrastructure

Clean Energy Wire

Insurance companies must end their support for liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure and companies in Europe, German environmental and human rights organisation Urgewald says in a recent report. The report, made in collaboration with the U.S. campaign “Insure Our Future,” looks at the role of large insurers, including the German groups Allianz, Talanx and Munich Re, in LNG terminals in Europe. Despite the insurers’ earlier commitment to end investments in the coal sector, they continue to support gas infrastructure, Urgewald writes. "If Allianz, Talanx and Munich Re take their climate commitments seriously, they must also say goodbye to LNG and other fossil fuel businesses. Continuing to secure and invest in new gas and oil infrastructure is incompatible with the 1.5-degree Celsius Paris target,” said Regine Richter from Urgewald in a press release. Europe currently has 28 large-scale and six small-scale LNG import terminals and as of 2019 had planned 21 new terminals, the report says. “If Europe wants to stand a chance of meeting emissions reduction targets, these terminals must never be built,” the NGO writes.

Earlier this year, Germany’s largest insurance company Allianz set new interim targets to reduce its climate impact by 2025. In 2019, the insurer vowed to make all of its investments climate-neutral by 2050 and to no longer sell insurance coverage to coal companies, not least because the company itself is greatly exposed to the damages caused by rising global temperatures. The new interim target is part of the plans of the "Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance," which brings together 33 major international investors which collectively manage five trillion euros. German insurer Munich Re, among others, also joined the initiative. 

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