Chubb Limited has announced a new underwriting criteria for oil and gas extraction projects that will require clients to reduce methane emissions, a byproduct of oil and gas production that are among the most severe greenhouses gases.
At the same time, the company also announced that it will not provide insurance coverage for oil and gas projects in government-protected conservation areas in the World Database on Protected Areas that do not allow for sustainable use.
Chubb’s policy applies to conservation areas covered by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management categories I-V in the World Database on Protected Areas. This includes nature reserves, wilderness areas, national parks and monuments, habitat or species management areas, as well as protected landscapes and seascapes.
The sixth IUCN category applies to protected areas that allow sustainable use. By the end of 2023, the global insurer will develop and adopt standards for projects in category VI areas in the World Database of Protected Areas, as well as for oil and gas extraction projects in the Arctic, Key Biodiversity Areas, mangrove forests, and global peatlands that are not currently listed in the World Database on Protected Areas
Further, Chubb has said that it will continue to provide insurance coverage for clients that implement evidence-based plans to manage methane emissions, which includes at a minimum, having in place programs for leak detection and repair, and the elimination of non-emergency venting.
Chubb revealed that clients must adopt one or more measures that have been demonstrated to reduce emissions from flaring. These criteria will commence immediately and customers will have a set period of time to develop an action plan that is based on their individual risk characteristics.
Additionally, Chubb also confirmed that it will create a customer resource center to support oil and gas insureds in identifying and adopting methane emissions reduction technologies.
Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Chubb, commented: “The methane-related underwriting criteria that Chubb has adopted – the first of their kind in our industry – are focused on the balance between the need to transition to a low-carbon economy and society’s need for energy security.
“As a company, we are accelerating and expanding our climate-related initiatives without committing to sweeping net-zero pledges for which, in our judgment, there is not a viable path to achieve. We will continue to pursue in earnest a responsible, realistic and science-based approach. Implementing these underwriting criteria encourages oil and gas producers to adopt technologies to reduce GHG emissions in extraction. We know that many of our clients in the industry are already committed to limiting methane emissions and we will work to expand those commitments.”
Greenberg continued: “Our policy on not insuring energy projects in protected areas also reflects our approach to setting clear guidelines to sustain biodiversity and protect nature. Taken together, our new underwriting criteria, along with our other substantive actions, are grounded in our commitment to lead the industry in the transition while balancing the need for energy security.”