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Swiss Re joins other major re/insurers in leaving Net-Zero Insurance Alliance

22nd May 2023 - Author: Steve Evans

Global reinsurance giant Swiss Re is the latest company to announce it will leave the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), becoming the fourth major re/insurer to do so.

Swiss Re was a founder member when the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) was launched at the G20 Climate Summit in Venice in 2021.

At the time, the firm’s CEO said co-founding the Alliance was a way to “work with other reinsurers and insurers to build on its commitment to transition to a low-carbon economy, through its underwriting expertise,” while saying that the NZAI was a “logical next step in the race to net zero.”

Fast-forward to 2023 and the departures from the NZIA seem to be accelerating, with major insurance and reinsurance industry names leaving the Alliance, some citing a concern over whether antitrust related issues could emerge as the market advances its net-zero agenda, in the face of US lawmakers that have been pushing-back on some ESG initiatives of late.

As we reported last week, the pressure on NZIA members has been rising and a consortium of Republican state attorneys general (AG) wrote to insurers in the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), raising their concerns about the legality of their commitments to collaborate with other insurers and asset owners in order to “advance an activist climate agenda.”

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In announcing that it is withdrawing from the the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) with immediate effect today, Swiss Re said that, “Our commitment to our sustainability strategy remains unchanged.”

Which is the same sentiment other reinsurers have also expressed, that despite leaving the Alliance, nothing changes in their mission to push towards sustainable practices and a net-zero world.

Back in April, German reinsurance giant Hannover Re announced that after careful consideration, it had opted to leave the NZIA, making it the third high-profile re/insurer to leave the UN-convened alliance in less than a month.

While Hannover Re didn’t provide a detailed reason for leaving the NZIA, Munich Re had previously highlighted antitrust concerns as limiting the scope of its decarbonisation goals when it announced it would leave the Alliance, while Zurich noted a desire to focus its resources to support its customers with their transition in its announcement.

Now, three of the co-founding members have left the NZIA, Munich Re, Swiss Re and Zurich, as well as another of the largest reinsurance firm’s in the world.

Whether it’s possible to sustain the Alliance with a dwindling membership remains to be seen, but we should expect all companies to continue to press forwards with their own net-zero and sustainability goals regardless.

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