Time for AIG to Break Up with Coal
Dear CEO of AIG, Mr. Peter Zaffino,
The world has already heated by 1.1°C since 1900, driving wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and other climate disasters that will only escalate if we do not rapidly transition away from fossil fuels.
Your company, as a major property and casualty insurer, is harmed by the climate crisis—and is also accelerating it. By insuring and investing in the fossil fuel industry, your company enables the construction of new climate-wrecking infrastructure. At the same time, AIG writes policies meant to help customers whose homes and businesses are harmed by climate-driven catastrophes.
Despite recognizing that AIG’s losses from these catastrophes will only increase as the climate crisis worsens, you have still failed to address your company’s contributions to the root of these disasters.
In the wake of your company’s announcement that it will not renew existing coverage for thousands of homeowners in wildfire-prone areas of California, we are disappointed that AIG has made no moves to end insurance and investment support for the fossil fuel industry that is driving climate disasters. It is unacceptable to end coverage and increase premiums for communities harmed by climate disasters while continuing to insure and invest in the coal, oil, and gas companies that are escalating this crisis.
You are likely aware that Travelers recently adopted a policy to restrict underwriting for coal and tar sands. While the policy has significant gaps and does not match the urgency of the climate crisis, it is an important first step for a company that was once a global laggard with no restrictions on fossil fuel support, similar to AIG.
Pressure on AIG to phase out its support for fossil fuels will only increase over time:
- Investors are increasingly filing proposals with banks and other financial institutions to end financing for fossil fuel expansion, in line with the International Energy Agency’s roadmap for net zero emissions by 2050.
- Young people are calling out AIG and other insurer’s contributions to the climate crisis as a threat to recruitment efforts and are making their voices heard at career fairs and in job applications.
- Climate groups are taking action outside of AIG’s headquarters, backed by thousands of petition signers urging that you, as CEO, end support for fossil fuel expansion and respect human rights.
We will continue to publicly call on AIG to exit coal and phase out oil and gas expansion in the year ahead, in line with the Insure Our Future campaign demands:
- Immediately cease insuring new and expanded coal, oil, and gas projects.
- Immediately cease insuring coal companies, unless they have a coal exit plan that commits to close all coal-related assets by 2030 in EU/OECD countries and by 2040 globally.
- Phase out, in line with a 1.5°C pathway, insurance for oil and gas companies.
- Divest all assets, including assets managed for third parties, from coal, oil, and gas companies that are not aligned with a 1.5°C pathway. Any company that is building new coal, oil, or gas expansion projects is not aligned with 1.5°C.
- Bring stewardship activities, membership of trade associations, and public positions as a shareholder and corporate citizen in line with a 1.5°C pathway in a transparent way.
- Establish robust due diligence and verification mechanisms to ensure that clients fully respect and observe all human rights, including the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent as articulated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Public Citizen, on behalf of The Insure Our Future Campaign
Photo of Peter Zaffino credit to Larry Lettera/ Camera One, edited for this image.