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Axa-chaired Net-Zero Insurance Alliance officially launches with eight members

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A group of eight leading insurers have launched the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) in a bid to transition underwriting portfolios to become carbon neutral by 2050.

The group is chaired by Axa and is being launched as the G20, an intergovernmental organisation of economically powerful nations, meets in Venice for a climate summit.

Allianz, Aviva, Generali, Munich Re, Scor, Swiss Re and Zurich are also members of the alliance, and will each decide individually how to achieve the net-zero target.

Axa CEO Thomas Buberl had been known to be spearheading the initiative, which comes amid an uptick in ESG announcements across the sector.

In addition to its membership of the underwriting alliance, Scor has also announced a commitment to the phased withdrawal of insurance and facultative reinsurance of unabated coal-fired power plants. The phase-out will take place in OECD countries by 2030 and the rest of the world by 2040.

This commitment extends to Scor’s portfolio of reinsurance treaties and from 2022, Scor will “strengthen” its underwriting guidelines to screen for all reinsurance treaties with more than 10% coal-related premium.

Scor said it would support its clients in their own commitments in transitioning to a net-zero emissions business model.

The eight members of the group are also committed to decarbonising their investment portfolios.

The companies will set underwriting criteria guidelines for greenhouse gas-intensive activity in underwriting portfolios, engaging with clients on their decarbonisation strategies.

“Science-based” intermediate targets will be set by the group every five years, with progress against them reported publicly and annually.

The (re)insurers will also develop and offer insurance and reinsurance solutions for low-emission and zero-emission technologies.

The group is expected to grow to include insurers, reinsurers, brokers and insurance market bodies.

“With this new Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, we are raising our climate ambition further by using our underwriting, claims, and risk management practices to help ensure and enable the transition to a resilient net-zero global economy,” Buberl said.

The alliance is accredited by the UN and mirrors similar schemes already operating in banking and asset management industries.

Scor CEO Laurent Rousseau also said: “Collective action is the only way we can address the grand challenge of our time: climate change.

“Scor is proud to be a founding member of the NZIA, working alongside other industry leaders to support the transformational changes that are critical to society. In doing so, we commit to accelerating the race to net zero and furthering our long-term mission.”

It follows the launch of the Prince of Wales’ Insurance Task Force under his Sustainable Markets Initiative, chaired by Lloyd’s and comprising of 17 brokers and carriers in total.

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