May 27, 2021 [New York City / London ] – Today, climate campaigners from across the world call on insurance giants AIG, Lloyd’s of London and Tokio Marine to immediately stop insuring and investing in coal. The Insure Our Future network placed a full-page ad in the Financial Times calling out the insurance laggards as climate groups in Japan, South Korea, United States and the United Kingdom held both physical and digital actions demanding the three insurers “Insure Our Future, Not Fossil Fuels”. 

Mobile billboard trucks circled the three insurer’s offices in New York City and London, while campaigners gathered outside of the Tokio Marine offices in Tokyo and Seoul. At the same time, activists from around the world emailed the CEOs and other senior level executives with demands that they drop coal. 

While 24 insurers have committed to stop insuring coal with immediate effect, AIG, Lloyd’s of London and Tokio Marine continue to provide the insurance for this climate wrecking industry to operate. A groundbreaking report released this month by the International Energy Agency concludes that there is no room for any new coal, oil, or gas in a net-zero by 2050 pathway, and thus no longer any justification for insurance companies to support fossil fuel expansion. 

Lloyd’s adopted a climate policy in December 2019, but it allows for continued insurance of existing coal, tar sands and Arctic energy projects until 2030, and has no plan to exit new oil and gas. Lloyd’s market is insuring some of the world’s dirtiest projects, including the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada, the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Australia, and oil drilling in The Bahamas.

Flora Rebello Arduini, SumOfUs Senior Campaigner, says “Lloyd’s of London are the new masters of greenwash — putting out climate policies while continuing to prop up the world’s worst fossil fuel projects. But they have the opportunity to prove us wrong. If they are at all serious about protecting the planet, Lloyd’s needs to do what so many other insurers are doing and quit coal now.”

AIG is the largest insurer outside of China that has zero restrictions on coal underwriting. It is also one of the few companies willing and capable of insuring multi-billion-dollar coal projects. AIG has refused to drop the Trans Mountain pipeline, and has connections with the Adani Carmichael coal mine. AIG is also among the world leaders in insuring oil and gas projects. 

Elise Peterson-Trujillo, Climate Campaign Coordinator at Public Citizen, said “AIG enables fossil fuel extraction that pollutes our planet and our communities. In 2019, less than 1% of AIG’s premiums were earned from coal, yet the corporation refuses to rule out underwriting coal projects. AIG has also invested at least $26 billion in fossil fuel companies, further compounding the company’s devastating environmental impacts. It’s beyond time for AIG to drop coal cover and phase out insurance for all fossil fuels.”

Tokio Marine’s September 2020 coal policy “in principle” rules out insuring new coal projects, but contains so many loopholes that it enables any power project conceivable in the pipeline to receive insurance. Tokio Marine is a top-10 insurer in the global coal as well as the oil and gas sectors, including in the ‘emerging market’ countries of Latin America, Southern/Eastern Africa and Southeast Asia. 

Yuki Tanabe, Program Director at the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), said “Tokio Marine has so far refused to rule out insuring new coal projects like the ones at Matarbari in Bangladesh and at Indramayu in Indonesia. Continuing to underwrite these projects will lock us all into a future reliant on the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Tokio Marine’s Annual Investor Relations Conference is today — what better time than now to commit to stop enabling any expansion of the global coal sector — with absolutely no exceptions?”

 

Click here for photos of the actions and the ad placed in the Financial Times. 

 

For more information please contact:

Camilla Schramek, camilla.schramek@sunriseproject.org.au, +45 50 22 92 88 (Europe)

Jamie Kalliongis, jamie.kalliongis@sunriseproject.org.au, +1 314 651 7497 (USA)

Yuki Tanabe, tanabe@jacses.org (Japan)

 

Insure Our Future is a global coalition of NGOs and social movements that is pressuring insurance companies to get out of the coal, oil and gas business and support the transition to clean energy. 

JACSES is a Japan-based NGO dedicated to achieving sustainable development and social justice in society, through broadly engaging the general public and experts in research, policy advocacy, and awareness-raising.

Public Citizen is a US-based nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions public interest, and holds corporations and governments accountable.

SumOfUs is a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations.

May 31, 2021

To

Mr. Satoru Komiya, Group Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Hiroo Shimada​, Manager, Sustainability Division, Corporate Planning Department

Mr. Masaaki Nagamura, General Manager, International Initiatives, Corporate Planning Dept.

Junko Komori, General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Planning Dept.

 

Copy to:

Mr. Akira Harashima, Group Co-Head of International Business

Mr. Kenji Okada, Group Chief Risk Officer

Mr. Yoshinari Endo, Group Chief Investment Officer

Yoichi Moriwaki, Group Deputy Chief Financial Officer

 

RULE OUT INSURANCE FOR COAL, OIL AND GAS PROJECTS IN BANGLADESH

Dear Mr. Komiya, Mr. Shimada and Mr. Nagamura

We are, 40 civil society organizations from different 14 countries of the world writing on behalf of the Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED), an alliance of non-profit groups representing thousands of families of Bangladesh who practice and depend upon the sustainable stewardship of local land and marine-based ecosystem commons.

We are concerned that the Tokio Marine Group may become – or already may be – implicated in the development of the 6,200 MW Matarbari Coal Power Hub (Matarbari Phase 1 to 4 and Kohelia 1&2), including associated acquisition, shipping and stockpiling of the required coal supplies as well as port construction and infrastructure.

If these projects in Matarbari get underway, it is projected that:

  • tens of thousands of people will be dispossessed of their homes;
  • there will be severe contamination of waterways, soil and groundwater;
  • air will become so heavily polluted from the emissions that our people will face the prospect of premature deaths; and
  • unique ecological wetlands that provide habitats for rare migratory birds and endemic fish species will be destroyed.(*1)

Bangladesh already has a serious overcapacity of power (*2) and is among the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. There is no need for th​is build out of energy​ projects, nor for a reliance on the dirtiest fossil fuel available on the market. Instead, these projects will compound problems faced by not only the subsistence based populations of the Matarbari area, but also consumers nationwide.

BWGED is among the many groups in Bangladesh and worldwide that oppose ​these and other similar coal related developments. ​If they go ahead as planned, you should be aware that there is no foreseeable or ​practical ​​way they could contribute postively towards achieving the​ SDGs in Bangladesh​​.

E​ngagement in these projects ​will leave insurers, investors and companies exposed to significant reputational, legal and financial risks.

As such, we are asking the Tokio Marine Group to:

  1. disclose whether agents in any of your Group companies are brokering contracts related to the Matabari or Matarbari Kohelia coal projects​; or ​have already signed off on ​such ​contracts (including surety bonds, commercial multiple peril insurance, and reinsurance offers);
  2. divest from any current support holdings in these projects, including associated works (shipping)​ and rule out future​ investments ;​ 
  3. without exception, rule out offering insurance of any kind to the projects or associated business ventures; and​
  4. Make information about the extent of these commitments publicly available in English, Japanese and Bengali​.​

In light of your upcoming Investor Relations Conference and Annual General Meeting, we ask that before 28 June 2021, you publicly disclose information that identifies which coal, oil or gas projects in Bangladesh (existing and under development) for which any of the Tokio Marine Group of companies are offering insurance in English, Japanese and Bengali.

We are also requesting you respond by or before 15 June 2021 to clarify what actions you will take ​in​ regard​ to the aforementioned steps​. T​hank you for your consideration and time.

Sincerely Yours

Hasan Mehedi

Member Secretary

Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED)

 

With support and endorsement from the following 39 groups worldwide:

  1. 350.org AsiaRegional
  2. 350.org JapanJapan
  3. AEPA FalconVenezuela
  4. Ambiente Desarrollo y Capacitación (ADC)Hondurus
  5. BandhanBangladesh
  6. Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA)Bangladesh
  7. Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF)Bangladesh
  8. BankTrackNetherlands
  9. Both ENDSNetherlands
  10. Center for Environment and participatory Research (CEPR)Bangladesh
  11. Change InitiativeBangladesh
  12. CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network)Bangladesh
  13. Climate WatchThailand
  14. Friends of the Earth JapanJapan
  15. Global Energy MonitorUSA
  16. GrowthwatchIndia
  17. INCIDIN BangladeshBangladesh
  18. INSAF (Indian Social Action Forum)India
  19. Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)Japan
  20. KRuHA (People’s Coalition for the Right to Water)Indonesia
  21. Mangrove Action Project (MAP)United States
  22. Mekong WatchJapan
  23. Mines Mineral and People (Mm&P)India
  24. Mongla Nagorik SomajBangladesh
  25. Nadi Ghati MorchaIndia
  26. National Committee for Saving the Sunderbans (NCSS)Bangladesh
  27. NGO Forum on ADBRegional
  28. Oil Change International (OCI)United States
  29. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)Pakistan
  30. Paribartan-RajshahiBangladesh
  31. Participatory Research Action Network (PRAAN)Bangladesh
  32. Phulbari Solidarity Group (PSG)United Kingdom
  33. PrantojonBangladesh
  34. Project Affected People’s Association (PAPA)India
  35. Society of Canton Nature Conservation – China
  36. SongshoptaqueBangladesh
  37. The Sunrise ProjectAustralia/USA
  38. UrgewaldGermany
  39. Voices for Interactive Choices and Empowerment (VOICE)Bangladesh

See the PDF version: English, Japanese

**

Notes

*1 For further information, see: Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, “Air quality, health and toxics impacts of the proposed coal power cluster in Chattogram, Bangladesh” (2020) <https://energyandcleanair.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Chattogram-coal-power-cluster.pdf>.

*2 See for example: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, ​”​Power Overcapacity Worsening in Bangladesh Switch in Focus From Coal and LNG To Renewables and Grid Can Address the Problem​”​ (Jan 2021) <https://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Power-Overcapacity-Worsening-in-Bangladesh_January-2021.pdf>

Confronted with the heat of targeted advocacy by climate justice campaigners as well as Indigenous Peoples’ rights movements, Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK, identified with Lloyd’s Syndicates 510, 557 and 1880) has publicly committed to not participate in ‘any future underwriting’ of Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia.

Earlier this month, when Lloyd’s syndicate MS Amlin confirmed its intention to stay out of the climate wrecking and ecologically destructive coal project, Tokio Marine’s syndicates were  faced with the shameful prospect of being left as the only top-10 Lloyd’s insurer yet to do so. On April 15th, TMK issued the following statement in writing to the Australian campaign group Market Forces: “We regularly review our portfolios and risk appetite in line with our broader organisational goals and can confirm that TMK would not participate in any future underwriting contracts on this project.”

Tokio Marine HCC (TMHCC, identified as Lloyd’s syndicate 4141) and the Tokio Marine Group as a whole have so far remained silent on their position on Adani’s Carmichael coal mine. Stop Adani and Insure Our Future campaigners are calling on Tokio Marine to rule out any support for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and its associated infrastructure as well as Adani’s other controversial coal ventures, such as the Godda power plant in India. They also asked TMK and the Group to clarify whether they are currently insuring contracts related to the Adani Carmichael project.

According to Pablo Brait of Market Forces, “With more and more insurers turning their backs, Adani has an obligation to explain to its shareholders and business partners how it will insure the risky Carmichael coal project for the decades it intends to run it.” He added, “Now, Tokio Marine must urgently clarify whether its statement applies across its entire business and if it will extend this commitment to cover all fossil fuels. If it doesn’t, then it has not yet finished the job.”

Yuki Tanabe, Program Director of the Japan Centre for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) further stated, “Climate justice groups and social movements worldwide still have not received any response to the open letter we sent calling on Tokio Marine to stop expanding, developing or further enabling fossil fuel projects that will lock us and future generations into reliance on the dirtiest and most polluting sources of energy on the planet.” 

Tanya Roberts-Davis, East Asia strategist and advisor at the Sunrise Project concluded, “There is simply no more time to waste, Tokio Marine needs to immediately and unequivocally rule out offering any insurance services for coal, as well as new oil and gas projects.”  

**

For more information, contact: 

Tanya Roberts-Davis, Strategist and Advisor, East Asia Finance, Sunrise Project

tanya.robertsdavis@sunriseproject.org.au 

March 31, 2021 – Over the past week, climate justice and community rights advocates kick-started the launch of a global campaign demanding Tokio Marine stop insuring coal, oil and gas projects with energized actions in South, Southeast and East Asia, Australia as well as North America. Outside company offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Jakarta, Delhi, Melbourne, Sydney and New York, groups gathered to put the global insurance company on notice:

Locking us into reliance on fossil fuel infrastructure now and far into the future is simply not acceptable. These projects wreak havoc on the climate and threaten our very existence. They are not needed and not wanted. The science is clear: we need to leave coal, oil and gas in the ground.

That’s why activists from diverse walks of life brought the message directly to Tokio Marine’s offices, noting this is where insurance deals that allow the most destructive fossil fuel projects to advance may be sealed.

Last week also marked the launch of the Olympic Torch Relay, of which Tokio Marine is a gold sponsor. It was in tandem with this occasion, that actions in different cities around the world kicked off the beginning of a relay of public pressure that will ramp up in the coming months.

We will continue to amplify our calls until Tokio Marine adopts a policy and actionable plans to immediately align its insurance and investment portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement, aiming to limit global warming to 1.5C and ensure clients respect all human rights, including Indigenous Peoples’ rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

More than 30 organizations, social movements, and community alliances from around the world also sent a letter last week with the same message to the CEO of Tokio Marine. Specifically, the letter highlighted a number of fossil fuel projects of global concern that the company must urgently and unequivocally rule out — as a first step towards meaningful action.

To date, we are still awaiting a response from Tokio Marine.

For more information about the campaign check out https://pollutingtheplanet.com/

 

[Photos]

https://www.flickr.com/photos/insureourfuture/51070659092/in/album-72157718760907917/

Credit: Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society and 350.org Japan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/insureourfuture/51080301128/in/album-72157718760907917/

Credit: Solutions for Our Future

https://www.flickr.com/photos/insureourfuture/51014015035/in/album-72157718760907917/

Credit: Trend Asia

https://www.flickr.com/photos/insureourfuture/51001396540/in/album-72157718760907917/

Credit: The Sunrise Project

Dear Mr. Komiya,

Together we, the undersigned groups, are calling on the Tokio Marine Group to rule out offering insurance for expanding the world’s coal fleet and other destructive fossil fuel projects that will hasten the climate catastrophe and will place communities around the world at the frontlines of increasingly devastating impacts.

There is no excuse for locking us — and the next generation to come — into reliance on the dirtiest and most polluting energy sources, particularly when cheaper and better alternatives such as wind and solar are available. And there is nothing to be gained by undermining international efforts to limit global warming to 1.5C, aligned with the commitments made by our governments to the Paris Climate Accord. The health of our planet and our society depends on taking action now.

It is time for you to join your peers in ending insurance services for new fossil fuel projects, particularly — but not limited to — those projects listed in the annex. Simply studying and reporting on climate-related risks is not a substitute for immediate action. Support for environmentally and socially damaging fossil fuel energy projects being planned worldwide is not only controversial, but it is also fundamentally misaligned with what science demands of us. We must act to phase out fossil fuels immediately.

As the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently stated, “Phasing out coal from the electricity sector is the single most important step to get in line with the 1.5 degrees goal…We can power past coal and have economies that thrive on innovative businesses aligned to what the world is demanding — sustainable development and prosperity for people and planet.”

In light of the urgency at hand, we are calling on the Tokio Marine Group to confirm publicly that your company will not provide any services for expanding, developing or further enabling fossil fuel projects, including but not limited to those indicated in the annex below. We are also calling on Tokio Marine to adopt a policy aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, that will rule out insurance services for any new coal, oil and gas expansion projects with immediate effect.

Thank you for your attention. We look forward to your response.

Signed by:

  • 350.og Japan
  • Asian Energy Network, Asia
  • Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, Asia
  • Action for Ecology and People’s Emancipation (AEER), Indonesia
  • Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation, Bahamas
  • Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt, Bangladesh
  • Center for Energy, Ecology and Development, Philippines
  • Coastal Livelihood Environmental Action Network, Bangladesh
  • Environics Trust, India
  • First Peoples Worldwide, USA
  • Friends of the Earth – Japan, Japan
  • Global Catholic Climate Movement, International
  • Green Innovation and Development Centre, Vietnam
  • Growthwatch, India
  • Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), Japan
  • Inclusive Development International (IDI), USA
  • Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), India
  • Indigenous Environmental Network, USA (Turtle Island)
  • Insure our Future, international
  • Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), Indonesia
  • Indonesian Forum for the Environment(WALHI) – West Java, Indonesia
  • London Mining Network, UK
  • Market Forces, Australia
  • Oil Change International, USA
  • Our Islands, Our Future Coalition, Bahamas
  • People’s Coalition for the Rights to Water (KRuHA), Indonesia
  • Public Citizen, USA
  • #StopAdani Campaign, Australia
  • #StopEACOP Alliance, International
  • Solutions For Our Climate, Korea
  • The Sunrise Project, Australia
  • Trend Asia, Indonesia
  • Waterkeeper Alliance, USA
  • Waterkeepers Bahamas, Bahamas
  • Waterkeepers Bangladesh, Bangladesh
  • Urgewald, Germany

TOKYO (March 25, 2021) – Starting today, actions around the world mark the global launch of a campaign calling on insurance giant Tokio Marine to stop underwriting and investing in fossil fuel projects driving catastrophic climate change. The campaign launch coincides with the start of the Olympics Torch Relay and highlights Tokio Marine’s role as an Olympics Gold sponsor.

In a letter to Tokio Marine President and CEO Satoru Komiya, over 30 groups from around the world called on the company “to adopt a policy aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, that will rule out insurance services for any new coal, oil and gas projects with immediate effect.” Signatories included community groups, Indigenous Peoples’ alliances, and international NGOS. The events they organized to amplify the demands in the letter took place at the site of different Tokio Marine offices around the world.

Hasan Mehedi, member secretary of the Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED), explained:

We are fully aware that without insurance, fossil fuel projects including the Matarbari Coal Power Complex and the Meghnaghat LNG Power Plant in Bangladesh can’t be built or operated. These are projects that destroy all our options for being resilient in the face of the climate crisis. There is no time to wait, Tokio Marine must immediately exit from all fossil fuel investments and underwriting, in line with the Paris Agreement and Marrakech Declaration of the Climate Vulnerable Forum”.

Tokio Marine’s September 2020 coal policy “in principle” rules out insuring new coal projects, but contains so many loopholes that it enables any power project conceivable in the pipeline to receive insurance, according to Insure Our Future’s analysis. Loopholes include “circumstances such as national energy policy and other considerations in the relevant country” as well as projects associated with development export credits. The policy also fails to include divestment from coal, mention any other aspect of the coal value chain (such as associated infrastructure, mining or shipping) or acknowledge internationally accepted standards to respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights, which are often violated by fossil fuel projects.

Yuki Tanabe, Program Director at the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) affirms:

“Tokio Marine fails to ensure consistency with Japan’s net zero commitment and the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. Tokio Marine needs to create a comprehensive fossil fuel policy that commits the company to not underwrite or invest in any coal or other fossil fuel projects.”

Tokio Marine’s CEO Satoru Komiya calls climate change “a top-priority issue that we must address head-on.” Yet, Tokio Marine remains among the top 10 insurers of destructive coal, oil, and gas projects around the world.

Vidya Dinker of the Indian Social Action Forum asserts:

“It’s what communities on the ground experience that is the true test of public relations statements by corporate giants like Tokio Marine. Local residents and citizen activists across India as well as Australia and Bangladesh are firmly opposed to coal projects like Adani’s Godda coal power plant. Most financiers and insurers have stepped firmly away from destructive projects like this one, which are neither wanted nor needed. We urge Tokio Marine to live up to their ‘gold partnership’ this Olympics and aim faster, higher, stronger! They must turn away from underwriting projects like Adani’s Godda plant which would be destructive for people and the environment.”

Background:

At least 26 insurance companies globally have ended or limited their coverage for coal projects, representing more than half the global reinsurance market. This has resulted in coal companies facing rate increases of up to 40%, and some projects struggling to obtain coverage at all.

Dropping coal also makes financial sense for insurers.  Climate-driven disasters cost the insurance industry $82 billion in 2020.

Societe Generale found that exiting coal adds billions to insurers’ valuations. This echoes findings from a 2020 Moody’s report, which considered insurers dropping coal to be “credit positive, as it protects them against potential climate change liability risk, and reduces the risk of their investment assets becoming ‘stranded’.” In this context, Tokio Marine, a conglomerate with 240 subsidiaries and over US$48 billion in revenue, that  operates international hubs from Asia, Europe and the US, stands as a clear climate laggard, being among the top ten insurers of coal, oil and gas worldwide.

This project is supported by:

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