Zurich signs up to UN pledge to limit global climate change

3 July 2019 — Cosmin CONCEATU
In June 2019, Zurich announced actions towards reducing climate change, by expanding existing thermal coal policy, committing to utilize 100% renewable power until 2022 and signing Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees Celsius Pledge.

UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gives the world only 11 years to make the transition to a new path, to avoid a planetary warming with disastrous consequences.

Over a period of 24 months, Zurich will actively engage with clients and investee companies with over 30% exposure to thermal coal, oil sands and oil shales, to drive them towards a credible mid to long-term transition plan.

Zurich will no longer underwrite or invest in companies that:
  • generate more than 30% of their revenue from mining thermal coal and oil shale, or companies that have at least 30% direct revenues from the extraction of oil from oil sands;
  • generate more than 30% of their electricity from coal and oil shale;
  • produce more than 20 million tons of thermal coal per year;
  • are in the process of developing any new coal mining or coal power infrastructure;
  • are dedicated transportation infrastructure operators for oil sands products, including pipelines and railway transportation;

Zurich also announced that the company has joined RE100, a global leadership initiative bringing together influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. The company also intends to drastically reduce single-use plastics and cut internal paper usage by 80%.

Mario GRECO, CEO Zurich Insurance Group, stated:

"As one of the world's leading insurers we see first-hand the devastation natural disasters inflict on people and communities. This is why we are accelerating action to reduce climate risks by driving changes in how companies and people behave and support those most impacted. It is simply the right thing to do."

Zurich adopted environmental, social and governance (ESG) oriented practices into its core business in 2012 and since 2014, the company went carbon-neutral. "With extreme weather events already causing devastation around the world, Zurich will also continue to help those communities most impacted by flooding through its award-winning program to enhance flood resilience, which has already benefitted 225,000 people across nine countries," wrote the company on their website.

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