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Global insurer Mapfre to stop underwriting new coal projects

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Global insurer Mapfre to stop underwriting new coal projects

Global insurance group Mapfre SA will no longer underwrite construction of coal mines and coal-fired power plants or invest in electric utilities that derive at least 30% of
their revenue from coal-produced energy, the company announced during its annual general meeting March 8.

One-third of the global reinsurance market has restricted cover for coal projects, according to a December 2018 report from the U.S.-focused arm of the international Unfriend Coal campaign, which has been pushing European insurers away from coal and other fossil fuels.

Lucie Pinson, European coordinator for Unfriend Coal, in a news release called the announcement "woefully short of the action necessary to completely phase out coal in Europe by 2030" because it did not mention plans for restricting coal infrastructures, divesting shareholdings or applying the policy to its reinsurance business.

Mapfre companies in Spain and Portugal are expected to be carbon-neutral by 2021, when carbon emissions from the insurance company will be reduced by 61%, a Mapfre release said.

Mapfre joins Vienna Insurance Group AG, Generali, Munich Re Co., Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd., Allianz SE, Zurich Insurance Group AG, Scor SE and Axa in backing away from coal investing.