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Climate factors to be “fully integrated” into SCOR’s new strategy: Denis Kessler

30th April 2019 - Author: Matt Sheehan

French reinsurer SCOR intends to “fully integrate” a range of climate risk management approaches into its next strategic plan, according to Chairman & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Denis Kessler.

dennis-kessler-scorKessler’s comments came alongside the announcement of SCOR’s commitment to more stringent underwriting exclusions for coal-based businesses, which climate activist group Unfriend Coal first reported last week.

SCOR has expanded its insurance and facultative reinsurance underwriting exclusion list to include the construction of new coal-fired power plants, irrespective of the technologies, the construction, and quality of the coal.

This initiative builds upon SCOR’s initial underwriting commitments from 2017, when it ceased to provide insurance or facultative reinsurance specifically promoting the operation of new thermal coal mines or lignite mines and plants.

“Protecting people and property from disasters and encouraging sustainability, especially in this context of intensifying climate risk and extreme weather events, are an integral part of SCOR’s mission,” said Kessler.

“We continue to pursue our holistic and integrated approach to risk management for the challenges presented by climate change, by developing models to evaluate these risks, by supporting our clients in the energy transition, by contributing to the adoption of low-carbon technologies, by investing responsibly, by supporting research and science, and by actively contributing to public-private partnerships,” he explained.

“These areas of development, which already underlie our underwriting and investment policies, will be fully integrated into the Group’s next strategic plan.”

SCOR has excluded investments in businesses that generate over 50% of their revenues from coal since 2015, and has subsequently lowered the threshold to 30%.

In 2017, the reinsurer also disinvested from the world’s top 120 developers of coal-fired power plants, known as the Global Coal Exit List.

Activists at Unfriend Coal commended SCOR for its latest climate policy updates, but said the company could go further by committing to fully phase out coal underwriting and investment by 2040, in line with climate science and the Paris Agreement climate targets.

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