Insurer Forcing Oil And Gas Companies To Curb Emissions Following Green Activist Pressure

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Chubb, a major insurance company, announced Wednesday that it will no longer underwrite investments in oil and gas extraction projects unless they limit methane emissions.

The company is one of the top-10 largest insurers of oil-and-gas companies by premium volume, and has been under pressure from an activist campaign to limit its coverage of oil-and-gas firms, The Wall Street Journal reported. Despite also announcing that it would no longer underwrite extraction projects in some “government-protected conservation areas,” the measures fall short of some activists’ demands to quit fossil fuel expansion cold turkey. (RELATED: Staggering Price Tag, Logistical Hurdles Make Biden’s Climate Agenda A ‘Fool’s Errand,’ Report Says)

Chubb’s actions are a “science-based and technical way” to contribute to carbon reduction goals and are not motivated by political pressure, CEO Evan Greenberg told the WSJ. The company also touted its status as the “first insurer with significant U.S. operations to limit coal-related underwriting and investment,” which it did in 2019, in its press release.

Previously, a group of 50 activists protested outside Greenebrg’s home in New York City and protested outside the U.S Open tennis tournament, which Chubb sponsors, with an inflatable resembling the company’s CEO, according to the WSJ. Leading up to the decision, activists said they would not support the company if it failed to meet their expectations.

Climate science “calls for a blanket stop to all new fossil fuel expansion projects — and a phase out of existing production over time,” Peter Bosshard, director with Sunrise Project, told the WSJ.

In contrast, Greenberg touted the company’s efforts to reduce methane emissions as “the first of their kind in our industry” and helping provide a balance between encouraging a transition to lower-carbon energy sources while supporting energy security now.

“As a company, we are accelerating and expanding our climate-related initiatives without committing to sweeping net-zero pledges for which, in our judgment, there is not a viable path to achieve.” Greenberg said in the company’s press release. “Taken together, our new underwriting criteria, along with our other substantive actions, are grounded in our commitment to lead the industry in the transition while balancing the need for energy security.”

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