By Dieter Holger 
 

Allianz SE put more restrictions on coal to minimize financial dangers from climate change in the insurance giant's portfolio, adding to the pressure that insurers are placing on the fossil fuel business to move to cleaner energy.

The Munich-based insurer and investor, which aims for net-zero emissions by 2050, said Monday that certain mining and energy-providing companies could end up banned for property and casualty insurance and financing.

Starting in 2023, mining companies that plan new coal mines or generate more than 25% of their revenue from coal mining or more than 10 million metric tons of coal a year would be excluded, Allianz said. That also applies to energy companies that build new coal-fired power plants or generate more than 25% of energy or more than 5 gigawatts from coal annually.

"The ultimate goal of this restriction is to drive a swift transition away from thermal coal globally," Allianz said.

Previously, Allianz's excluded utilities that generated more than 30% of their electricity from thermal coal or miners who got more than 30% of their revenue from coal, or if the companies planned more than 0.3 gigawatts of additional thermal coal capacity.

Still, the insurer left open a window for companies that don't meet its latest rules. Allianz said that if companies present a third-party verified strategy to transition away from coal aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, than they could continue to receive property and casualty insurance and financing.

Various companies could be caught up in the new policy, particularly in parts of Europe that have struggled to get off coal.

Last week, Allianz's Czech subsidiary said it would end its remaining insurance policies for the Sev.en Energy Group's Počerady and Chvaletice coal-fired power plants in the Czech Republic by the end of the year.

Sev.en didn't respond to a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Allianz said the company doesn't comment on individual clients, but said the new coal policy's main goal is to support the transition to net-zero among companies who are big emitters of greenhouse gas emissions.

"While its coal phase-out is not watertight yet, Allianz will exclude more coal companies from insurance than before, which is positive," said Regine Richter, energy campaigneer at German-based nonprofit Urgewald.

 

Write to Dieter Holger at dieter.holger@wsj.com; @dieterholger

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 03, 2021 15:14 ET (19:14 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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