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Aspen joins commitment to cut ties with the Tar Sands Pipeline

21st April 2022 - Author: Katie Baker

Trans Mountain insurer and Lloyd’s syndicate Aspen Insurance is to cut ties with the existing Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline when its current insurance policy expires this summer.

Aspen logoAspen joins sixteen other insurance companies that have dropped Trans Mountain or vowed not to insure the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

The commitment from carriers is having a tangible impact on the price and availability of insurance for the sector.

In the UK, Lloyd’s has been the target of a range of protests around the Trans Mountain pipeline including 60 people from Extinction Rebellion blocking the entrances at their iconic headquarters last week, and a climate memorial led by Pacific Islanders and youth strikers from climate change-affected communities.

Charlene Aleck of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative, commented: “By confirming that they are dropping Trans Mountain, Aspen is joining insurance industry leaders in recognising that fossil fuel infrastructure projects that don’t have Free Prior and Informed Consent are a material risk.

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“It’s time for the rest of the Lloyd’s syndicates and the whole insurance sector to follow suit before the climate crisis gets worse.”

Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Director for, said: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency reports have made clear that the Trans Mountain expansion project and any expanded oil and gas infrastructure is incompatible with achieving global climate targets.

“Since this campaign was launched seventeen insurers have ruled out insuring Trans Mountain, including Chubb and Argo Group in 2021, citing climate, environmental, and social risks.”

Andrew Taylor, Organiser with Coal Action Network, added: “Over the last two years, insurers at Lloyd’s of London have come under increasing pressure to cut ties with Trans Mountain. It’s brilliant that Aspen is listening, but Lloyd’s syndicates like Arch and Beazley must follow suit, and more broadly we need a step change across the whole Lloyd’s marketplace.

“We are calling for leadership that mandates all insurers in their marketplace to end underwriting of new fossil fuel projects. While Lloyd’s CEO John Neal blocks meaningful climate action, we expect to see ongoing protests on Lloyd’s doorstep.”

Elana Sulakshana, Senior Energy Finance Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network, said: “This announcement from Aspen makes clear that the Trans Mountain pipeline network is facing serious risks that financial institutions do not want to support: lack of consent from Indigenous communities, decaying infrastructure, mounting costs, and a massive carbon footprint.

“However, we urge Aspen to clarify that its commitment extends to not insuring all parts of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline and the expansion project in the future.

“We also call on Arch, Beazley, and other Lloyd’s syndicates to follow suit and drop Trans Mountain, as well as rule out insurance coverage for the entire tar sands sector. History will not look kindly on any company that is continuing to insure massive oil expansion projects in 2022.”

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