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Axa commits EUR1.5bn to counter deforestation and tightens insurance terms

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Axa has announced plans to invest EUR1.5bn ($1.74bn) to prevent deforestation and promote sustainable forest management in its latest ESG initiative.

The French insurer will also strengthen its investment and insurance requirements for activities that actively contribute to deforestation, especially soy, palm oil, timber and cattle production.

Axa has played a leading role in promoting sustainability in the industry and been influential in the recent launch of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, which is working to transition underwriting portfolios to become carbon neutral by 2050.

The EUR1.5bn investment will include a EUR500mn contribution to reforestation in emerging countries, which it says will enable 25 megatons of carbion dioxide to be captured each year.

Currently, the business has 60,000 hectares of forests in its portfolio, all of which are certified by the Programme for the Enforcement of Forest Certification or the Forest Stewardship Council.

Axa CEO Thomas Buberl said: "In the face of the climate emergency, and prior to the COP26, we are proud to extend our commitments and announce new measures to fight deforestation, protect forest ecosystems and preserve biodiversity."

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