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SCOR announces first underwriting exclusions on oil

18th May 2022 - Author: Jack Willard

During its recent Annual General Meeting, global reinsurer, SCOR announced its first underwriting exclusions on oil, as the company announced the end of coverage for new oilfield projects by 2023.

SCORThe French reinsurer did state that it will make exceptions for oil projects of “companies aligned with Net-Zero by 2050”.

SCOR has a longstanding commitment to fighting climate change, undertaking numerous actions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate the just transition to a low carbon economy.

As a founding member of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, SCOR continues to adapt its underwriting practices to actively participate in the transition to net zero.

However, SCOR has said that it believes that reaching net zero can only be achieved by combining climate mitigation and climate adaptation measures, supported by strong engagement with clients and partners, and an active approach to transition.

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Meanwhile, The Sunrise Project and Insure Our Future stated in a press release, that while committing to no longer underwriting new oil projects is a good first step, these restrictions fail to cover gas and are thus “inconsistent with what’s needed to address the climate emergency.”

They also added, that SCOR has “failed to catch up to its competitors”, as Swiss Re, Allianz, and Hannover Re have already excluded new oil & gas production projects from their insurance business in line with the latest IPCC and IEA conclusions.

Earlier this year, both Hannover Re and Swiss Re set a new momentum among reinsurers by announcing that they will no longer re/insure new upstream oil & gas projects. More recently, Allianz also adopted even stronger restrictions, setting the new sector standard.

The press release noted, that these leaders have sent a clear message to the industry, and that insurers are starting to listen to climate science.

Ariel Le Bourdonnec, Insurance Campaigner at Reclaim Finance, said: “SCOR missed a great opportunity today. Scientists and experts from the International Energy Agency have been clear about the harmfulness of gas and the need to end fossil fuel expansion. By allowing gas as well as exceptions for some new oil fields, SCOR’s policy does not even go half the distance.”

Lindsay Keenan, European Coordinator of Insure Our Future, added: “SCOR has taken an important step at its Annual General Meeting by announcing underwriting exclusions on oil, but it still has a long way to go to bring its policies in line with climate science and the urgent need for a full transition to renewables. SCOR’s CEO Laurent Rousseau needs to keep this policy under revision and to update it again as soon as possible.”

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